Even though the papers, Internet, our smartphones, etc. are touting encouraging news regarding the job market, many of us are nearby, if not related to, people that I prefer to term as “Free Agents.” That is, for one reason or another, they still find themselves unemployed, even while the percentages drop. After all, it’s cold comfort to read how there are less people unemployed if you are still in that statistic!
- Keep them in your social circle. Unemployment is not communicable and we all need interaction with others (even those of us who don’t think so!).
- Ask for a copy of their resume. Look it over, learn more about them and what they have done. If you have good advice on how it’s written or how to use it, share it.
- Keep your eyes and ears open for any opportunity that may interest them, whether it’s an article in the Business Section of the paper, a comment at the hair salon, a sign in the lawn in front of a company or a blog you just read.
- When appropriate, offer to serve as a reference or provide an introduction to opportunities for them.
- Provide a sympathetic and non-judgmental ear. Job search is tough sledding. They may just need a sounding board at times, not advice.
- Maintain regular contact and follow up in a positive and supportive manner.
- Never, EVER ask them, “Didn’t you find work YET?!”
Finally, be a friend. They need one now, more than ever!