Earlier this week in a blog you can find here on our web site, I told you what NOT to say to a person who has lost their job, as so many have been laid off or let go from their employment because of the corona virus pandemic. Just lay off of the cliches, and don't say "enjoy the time off"...to name a few things.
So, as requested by some readers, I have suggestions or what TO say to someone who has lost a job. These are definitely more positive comments...so here goes:
I’m so sorry to hear the news. I know how much time you devoted there. How are you feeling?
When people are going through hard times, they want to hear words that communicate understanding and empathy. Don't give advice, as this person is dealing with a loss.
I understand how scared, angry, frustrated or sad you’re feeling. That has to be difficult.
Validation is always a good place to start because that's what we need from our friends most.
Do you want to talk about it?
They may not want to, because it's exhausting to talk about it over and over. But give them the option to vent and be a supportive, good listener without judgment.
Do you want to get together?
Sadly, we can't do this now because of the pandemic. But during a period of unemployment, people can become increasingly isolated and socially withdrawn, particularly if a big part of their social circle once involved co-workers. So call them often. Maybe you can visit virtually with face time, or even go see them for a minute...but keep your social distance! Stay outside and talk.
What do you need from me?
This lets your friend think about and tell you what they need. Don't give advice unless they ask for it.
I have faith in you.
Remind them they have got what it takes. Point out past successes in overcoming obstacles, they're staying power, and their good decision-making abilities overall.
How can I help?
Even if your friend is not sure, offering help is still a way to communicate your support, and it's nice to hear. Maybe offer to introduce them to people in your network, or go with them to an event or job fair. Offer to be a future job reference.
Be there for them, and celebrate them and celebrate with them when they get a new job.