How To Help A Loved One Who's Been Laid Off

How To Help A Loved One Who's Been Laid Off
Love, Self

Ways to be there for a partner or friend during the recession.

Nice as it is to hear about indications that the economy is turning around, the layoffs aren't over yet. You've probably just heard that yet another colleague, friend, neighbor, congregant, teammate got the ax—or you will soon. If you've been there, you know how isolating and demoralizing it can be, even now that joblessness is more norm than humiliation, more zeitgeist than badge of shame.

How well you're acquainted with said laid-off person will inform how you proceed, of course. But some things never change—like the power of a reachout, a simple favor, and a sympathetic ear.

1.    Be there. Call. Write.

2.    Ask what happened. Most people want to share the gory details, and they may need to find their narrative of What Just Happened.

3.    Listen.

4.    Be present. Stay sensitive to touchy-subject vibes, obviously, but for now it's probably better to err on the side of active concern.

5.    Be concrete. Offer tangibles. Email job tips, websites, pertinent articles.

6.    Value their strengths. Whatever the scenario or narrative, however cushy the severance package, they've just been dumped and probably feel discarded. So point out what they instinctively do well, the stuff they may take completely for granted.

7.    Ask them for help. Really. Maybe it's just for advice about your in-law or next car or vacation or menu. Poll: How Do You Deal With A Monster-In-Law?

Or maybe it's actually more tangible. Like having them show you how to arrange those flowers, make that killer salad dressing or fix that leak.Read: Cooking For Two

8.    Match-make. Arrange a professional fix-up if you think there's a remote chance they can be helpful to each other.

9.    Make a date for lunch. Pay for it. Watch: Recession-Style Dating

10. Encourage the pursuit of a hobby, a memoir, a personal project they've not had time for.

—Written by Kate Zentall for Recessionwire. Read the rest of the article at

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