What does a job seeker and an 85 year old woman have in common?
Every winter we see the ads on the TV, asking us to remember the elderly during cold snaps, call in regularly to your neighbours and make sure they are alright. There is a lovely old couple that live next to me that I frequently check on. They rarely leave the house and weeks can go by without seeing them.
Yesterday evening I called around and checked on them and when I walked away I smiled as I thought of the warm welcome I received and how much they seemed to appreciate my efforts. This got me thinking…………..there are lots of similarities between keeping an eye out for the elderly and looking after the unemployed. But do we take on the responsibility of checking on our unemployed friends as much as we should? Probably not….
We all have friends that are currently unemployed. Very often when a friend goes through the trauma of unemployment they tend to distance themselves from us. The longer they are unemployed the less “visible” they become, they rarely go out of the house and socialise. They may not have the money to go out, but very often the main reason is they don’t feel like going out. The thought of hearing their friends frivolous work woes make their blood boil….our problems seem minuscule in their eyes. Yes, very often our friends are depressed.
Here are 6 things we can look at to support our job seeking friends:
- No pity please – There is nothing more counter productive than to have someone reminding you of how unfortunate or tough your situation is. Throw another log onto the fire of misery why don’t you? A client of mine recently said that he was on the verge of exploding with rage at his mother who constantly asked him how he was feeling.
- Call in regularly – Imagine how you would feel if you were not working, the chances are you would not feel like socialising too much.So if a job seeking friend has been absent from the local pub or club recently, maybe it is time you pay them a visit. Your friend may not be a barrel of laughs at present, but interact the same way you always have and visit often,
- Call and email – Pick up that phone and give your friend a call and send on that funny email that is doing the rounds at work to give them a laugh.
- Listen – You don’t have to solve their problems, just be there for them and listen to what they want to say. A quote I have always loved is “The greatest motivational act you can do for someone is to listen.” Many job seekers are on their own all day with no one to talk to and more importantly no one to listen to them.
- Talk about everything and nothing – Talk about how poor Ireland‘s football team were against Brazil in the second half and Britney Spears’s new haircut and have a laugh. Oh how wonderful to escape from reality from time to time and relax.
- Offer support where possible – Keep an eye out for opportunities for your friend. Email a job you see advertised. Set up a meeting with a contact that may be able to help. Send them an article that you read that might aide the job search etc.
So who do you know that is currently unemployed? And what are you going to do to help them?