1) Show interest
We are more than our occupation/employment status! When a job seeker is feeling discouraged or "less than," a simple question about how they are doing with their search can make a big difference. Don't dismiss or diminish their progress. Show them that you care about how their efforts are progressing.
2) Offer assistance, not advice (unless asked)
It's a fine line between being helpful and being pushy. You may have great job search suggestions to offer, but if they are presented in a way that is perceived as being aggressive, they won't be taken into consideration. Pressuring someone never works. For spouses - this isn't to say you can't say something if your partner is slacking, but find out first WHY they are not focusing on their search and make a plan together going forward. For friends - besides being there to listen, communicate to them that you care, offer your own success stories (with a certain resume format that has worked in the past for example) and reiterate that you are there to lend an ear or a hand.
3) Play a part in their search
This can take many forms:
- help with a mock interview or phone screen - you ask the questions
- proofread their resume/cover letter
- see if you have any social media connections at their target company
4) Provide a break
Make this time a "no job search talk" zone. Seek out enjoyable, supportive and low cost activities:
- take a walk
- watch a funny movie
- play a board game
- try a new recipe
Have you ever helped a loved one during their job search? What worked? What didn't?
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