How To Support Someone Who Lost Their Job

A career expert shares the best ways you can help.
What can you do when a family member, friend, coworker, or roommate loses their job? One of the harshest ripple effects of the current global health crisis has been the disparate and astronomical economic disruption, resulting in (to skim the surface) volatile markets, shuttered businesses, pay cuts, and job layoffs and furloughs. As of May 7, more than 33 million Americans had filed for unemployment insurance during the seven-week span of lockdown, Business Insider reports.

So even if your own job is relatively secure right now, you likely know someone who’s been let go (or about to be let go) as a direct result of the pandemic’s economic impact. If this is the case, you’ll want to know the best ways to support them during such a hard time. You may not be able to turn back time or lend them a year’s salary, but there are tons of ways to be a source of comfort and advice while they get back on the right path toward a new role. LinkedIn career expert Blair Heitmann shares her best advice for what to do when someone you know gets laid off or furloughed.

Tap your own network.
“Since 70 percent of professionals find a job through connections, your network could be their ticket to a new opportunity,” Heitmann says. Do you know someone who’s hiring or have a cousin at the company your friend’s been eyeing? Make introductions and referrals when you can.

Be patient.
Most importantly, show some compassion through patience. This is not the time to be judgmental or pushy. Just because what they lost was a job—and not a person or pet—they still experienced loss. “Remember that everyone deals with it in their own way and at their own pace,” Heitmann says. “Be patient as your friend transitions through the stages of grief and begins to reach for new career goals.”

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