If you’re currently living the dream with your perfect job, your family home and your wonderful children, it may be hard to sympathize with someone whose life has just been turned upside down. After years of busting their chops for a company to pay the bills and strive for financial security, they’ve lost their job. Whether they have been let go or whether the company has gone bust, losing your job in any way, shape or form is one of the most devastating things that could happen to you. It’s tough. Luckily, having friends and family around can really help these people during this difficult time, and this is what to say to a friend who just lost a job.
‘Do you want to talk about it?’
One of the best things about this world is that every single person is different. Because of this, we all have our own ways of dealing with sudden changes in our lives. There are some people who will be angry, others will cry for hours on end, others will talk to people to find answers, and others will stay quiet and want to forget it ever happened. However, it’s impossible to know how someone will react until it happens to them, which is why it’s important to ask, “Do you want to talk about it?” to someone who has lost their job, just in case they don’t.
‘I’m sorry to hear the news. I know how much time you devoted there. How are you feeling?’
One of the worst things you could possibly do when your friend loses their job is to try and give them advice. This will often make them feel inferior and worthless- which is not what they need at that moment in time. During that moment, your friend needs to know that you empathize with their situation and that you acknowledge what is happening in their lives. By simply understand them and asking how they personally are doing, you can show them that you are there for them throughout this difficult period.
‘Do you want to meet up?’
When someone is going through a journey of unemployment, it is often commonplace to see them become increasingly socially withdrawn and reclusive. They may choose to stay at home all day and wallow in the fact that they are no longer working, and they may often feel ashamed of their unemployment, and avoid contact with the outside world. As their friend, it is your job to ensure that they don’t do that. By asking them whether they want to meet up and go for a coffee or even a walk around the park, you are showing them that they are more than just the job that they have lost. They have an identity outside of the workplace.
‘How can I help?’
Most of the time, there is nothing a friend can do to help out someone who has just lost their job. Although they may be able to look out for job advertisements or posters looking for staff, the road to employment starts with the person who lost their job in the first place. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t offer your help and support. Letting them know that you are willing to help them out wherever necessary shows them that they are loved and that they are worthy. In the end, they might just need to borrow your printer to print off their resumes!
Watching a friend go through a period of unemployment can be both stressful and saddening for both parties – but it doesn’t have to be that way. By asking these questions, you can really show that you care.