Unemployed Friends – How To Help
Over the last several years, we, as a people, have experienced something unlike any time in our lifetimes – mass unemployment on an unprecedented scale that has affected one in three of us in some way. If it hasn’t directly affected your household, it is likely to have changed the lives of a friend or relative. And, as economic uncertainty continues to reign, many of us go to bed thankful that we still have a job.
One way to express your gratitude is by reaching out to a friend or relative to become a beacon of hope and encouragement. Chances are, you possess a skill, or some knowledge, or access to resources that could benefit someone. In many cases, all that a person needs is an idea, or a push, or the realization that others are looking out for them to make them feel like they have an edge again.
How You Can Help an Unemployed Friend
As you consider how to go about helping a friend or relative in need, take an inventory of your skills and resources to see which, if any, can be loaned out.
Technical skills: What skills can you bring to the table? Skills such as web site creation, blogging, social media, resume writing, letter writing, communications, networking are all very valuable to a job searcher. If you don’t have these skills yourself, help your friend to acquire them.
Personal experience: Perhaps you have experienced joblessness, or maybe someone else close to you has gone through it. It helps when someone is able to hear how others have dealt with it. Share any lessons learned from other experiences.
Make some introductions: In today’s business environment, jobs are not found through traditional means. Most jobs are found as a result of networking or knowing a friend of a friend. Assess your friend’s background and skill set. Introduce him or her to some people and take them to a networking meeting. Join a meetup group together to encourage the activity of networking.
Become a customer: If they are trying to generate some income in a home-based business or through part-time work, by their products or services, and recommend them to others.
Become a handyperson: Offer to do things around their house that will help free up some time or money for job searching. Babysit. Do some gardening. Work on their car. Do their laundry.
Become a coach: Everybody needs a different perspective on things. More than that, most people are very poor planners or lack the discipline to execute a plan. Spend a day to devise a plan and develop strategies that can be mapped out on a timeline. And then hold them accountable.
A Word about Financial Assistance
Should you loan a friend some money in their time of need? Certainly, if you can afford it, but it is important to consider how it will affect your relationship. Lending money to a friend ends badly for some people unless the expectations are realistic. With some people, a formal arrangement with a payment schedule and rate of interest will work. But even that can fall apart. With others, you may not want to have any expectations other than you will be repaid in some form or fashion over time, if not by your friend, then in some other way – call it karma.
You may want to consider taking a collection envelope around to your circle of mutual friends or colleagues with a reminder that it could just as easily be them in your friend’s situation.