Job seekers need friends. If you are out of work, it’s important you have friends you can turn to. If you have a friend who is out of work, it’s critical to recognize the important role you play in your friends’ job search. Here are the key roles friends play in a job search:
Job search can be lonely and discouraging. Friends can offer consistent encouragement, celebrate small successes and listen to the job seeker when he or she is feeling down.
- One friend of a job seeker set up (and paid for) a weekly coffee date to allow her friend to talk, and to offer encouragement
- A job seeker reached out to a friend after being turned down for a job and received sympathy and a pep talk just when she needed it most.
A listening ear sometimes makes a big difference for a job seeker.
Job seekers sometimes become so absorbed in their search they don’t see beyond it. They may say things like “There are just no jobs out there” or “I’ll never get hired.” It’s up to friends to offer a reality check with responses like “The market is tough but you have what it takes” and “You’ve landed a job before and I know you will do it again.”
Friends can offer job seekers practical help:
- One laid off worker pulled her baby out of day care to save money but was struggling to carve out time to job search with a baby to look after. A friend set up a schedule to care for the baby on a recurring basis, giving the job seeker time to focus.
- Another job seeker sold his car and was doing fine using public transportation but need an occasional ride to interviews or important meetings. Several friends offered help which made a big difference in his job search.
- An older worker wanted to refresh her look for her job search. A younger friend took her shopping at a nearby discount mall and helped her select a great outfit for interviews.
Ask a job seeking friend what kind of help he or she could use and follow-through on your offer to help. If you are out of work, remember your friends want to support your success. Don’t hesitate to take them up on their offers when you need help.
Friends are a vital part of a job seeker’s network. Job seekers should add friends to their professional network and ask for help in widening their network, uncovering job opportunities and connecting with the right people. Friends of job seekers can help by sharing their network and looking for connections that will help their friend. This is one of the most important ways a friend can help a job seeker.
Friends make all the difference in a job search. If you are a job seeker, keep your friendships strong and turn to your friends when you need help and support. If you are friends with a job seeker, reach out regularly and let your friend know you are there for them.
Tell us, how are friends helping in your job search? What are you doing to help a friend who is looking for a job?