Last week my friend ‘Katie’ joined the ranks of the California unemployed. She was laid off from her agency marketing job. Over the last couple of months, I know of at least ten skilled, intelligent, creative and hard working people who were laid off from their jobs. Recently I wrote the post fifteen tips on how to support a friend after they have been laid off. But, as the times and job opportunities still have not improved, I wanted to add on to that article so you can help yourself or loved ones through the daily grind that is unemployment.
OK let's face it, our laid off friends get to make some tough decisions in their days…such as, ‘Which coffee shop should I work at today? Should I go for my run now or later in the day when the fog clears?’ Although, we’d all like to have these options, having to fill up your days without the camaraderie of co-workers or a planned work schedule can be difficult to get adjusted to.
In fact, many unemployed ask themselves, ‘Now what do I do with my days?’ Of course, it's usually Murphy's law that as soon as they start to enjoy their time off, they find full time work. My advice is to encourage your unemployed friends to create a daily schedule and fill out a list of things for the week that can be accomplished. Referring back to my earlier post, here are a 2 specifics you can do to help your friends or loved ones.
11) Point out your friend’s skills and talents. It is very easy for them to get down on themselves. Remind them that a bad experience should not define them.
The reality is your unemployed friends need frequent reminding that they are very skilled, and have a lot of talent. As soon as the job market improves they will have plenty of opportunities to choose from. Wouldn’t you feel down if you were unemployed for months and hadn't heard back from recruiters, gone on any real interviews or had any new leads on jobs even though you've been sending out tons of resumes?
15) Help them create a support system. Connect your friends to other people that you know who have been laid off. This will let them network and vent. It helps to be able to talk to someone who has gone through the same pains.
I’ve noticed recently that my unemployed friends are pulling their connections together, taking care of one another and starting to reinvent themselves. Full time work is not as available, so many are turning to their entrepreneurial side and starting new companies.
I’ve also noticed that many others are returning to having a more balanced life? Isn’t that a wonderful thing? People are reading more frequently, taking better care of themselves and spending more time with their families.
And so I ask, how can folks make the best of being laid off? What would you do with the extra time? Who would you need support from? Please read this post whenever you are feeling down and know that you are not alone.