5 ways to be a better friend to a friend looking for a jobMost likely, we’ve all been there. Unemployment. A job we didn’t like. Unsure what job we want. Confused or frustrated about what to do about finding a job.

As girlfriends, and in these ‘economic times’ as well as changes in our/friends’ lifestage, most of us have friends who are unemployed or may just need to find a different job. (Or maybe it’s us that is going through a job search or stress!) It’s a tough time to look for a job and a rough road to navigate – especially by ourselves.

As someone who wants to be a better friend, we need to be there for each other in good and bad, happy and sad, employed and ‘OMG, What am I going to do with my life?’ times. So, here’s some girlfriend advice on being a friend to a friend looking for a job (or who needs to find a new job) – our girlfriends dealing with job stress (and who doesn’t have that more?!).

We’ve all been there, so let’s be there for each other. Please add your girlfriend advice for finding a job or dealing with job stress in the comments area below.

1. Be a Friend. Listen. Be available to walk, talk or just take her mind off the situation by sharing some gooey cheese fries, chocolate in any form and a glass (or three) of wine. Friends are there for their friends and she needs you to be there for her. So often girlfriends are our personal ‘cheerleaders’ so ‘bring out the pompoms‘ and remind her of the great things she’s done, of her accomplishments and successes, and all the ways she has helped you. And, if she needs to cry or vent, let her – but try to offer some comic relief or positive news/insights to end the conversation in a hopeful way.

2. Share what you know. I’ve taught LinkedIn so this weekend I’m working with my girlfriend Becky on her profile and how to use LinkedIn to find a new job. Here are a few articles on creating a great LinkedIn profile shared by @MagneticWomen, aka Rhonda: Guy Kawasaki’s guide to a LinkedIn Profile, Chris Brogan’s ‘Make Your LinkedIn Profile Work for You and What Recruiters look for in a LinkedIn profile. (Thanks Rhonda!) Do some research for her – on companies and local job seeker groups. What else do you know that can help your friend in her job search? Or … WHO do you know? Share contacts! Make connections on LinkedIn. Review and proof her resume. Brainstorm businesses to explore. Find stories of how others got their jobs and pass them along to keep her optimistic.

3. Be thoughtful. Ask her how things are going but be aware and respectful. (I’ve been there before – sometimes there’s nothing new to report so understand if she doesn’t want to talk about it.) Check with her after an interview to see how it went. Meet for coffee or ice cream to celebrate a potential opportunity. Offer to watch her kids during interviews so she doesn’t have to worry about that. Help her find great interview outfits (possibly by shopping consignment stores). Plan girlfriend get-togethers or events at friends’ homes or places that are inexpensive so it doesn’t cause her more stress to join you. Stay aware of her mood and how she’s feeling about things. Identify if she needs to get out of the house and do something to take her mind off her job search stress. Keep her busy so she doesn’t have time to worry about things!

4. Practice Random Acts of Kindness. Leave a card on her door with a cheerful message or a bouquet of orange gerbera daisies. (-:  Follow frugal sites with her (share frugral advice like this from the LOL Savings Summit) and go ‘cheap shopping’ together. Reach out to others to find contacts and job opportunities and share with her.

5. Dream Together. Girlfriends often know us best so we’re a perfect  team to dream and scheme about our dreams. Gather some scrapbook or craft materials and create ‘Vision Boards’ together, explore the amazing options available for your futures with the wonderful friend(s) who will cheer you along toward your goals. And cheer for each other as you move in the direction of your dreams!

How have your girlfriends helped you when you were searching for a job? What have you done to help a friend find a job?

Share and inspire!

Here’s more girlfriend advice on jobs and dealing with job loss and stress:

p.s. And … be a friend to Girlfriendology! Share this blog with your girlfriends by clicking the Facebook LIKE button below and also, when you’re on our Facebook page, SHARE IT WITH YOUR GIRLFRIENDS. (Please?!) Thanks girlfriend!

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10 Responses to 5 Ways to Be a Better Friend to a Friend Looking for a Job

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  5. This is great advice! I run a job seeker support group every Monday and I can’t tell you all how many times women come in and say they feel very disconnected from their friends. Job loss means loss of a place to go everyday and a place to leave everyday. For many women (and men) work defines who they are, our support systems are also tied up co-workers. Losing a job for some means losing the majority of their friends and supports. If you lost your job due to downsizing but your friend didn’t, the survivor guilt can be very straining on that relationship. Dealing with unstructured time when you are not used to having any is one of the most difficult things about being unemployed. Most people get jobs through word-of-mouth so the best way to help a friend besides the suggestions given in the article is to network FOR and with your friend.

  6. So glad to see someone else talking about this subject. During my unemployment, I have been blessed w/ some excellent friends (and there have been a few that have ditched altogether when I was unable to go shopping or out to eat). It’s good to know who our true friends are. I have an awesome friend in my buddy, “Martha”. She was my college roommate and has been a dear friend for 23 years now. Recently she wrote a guest blog post on my site about how to be a good friend to someone going through “life on the dole.” Check it out–you might find it interesting: http://mylifeonthedole.blogspot.com/2010/07/what-do-you-say-to-friend.html. BTW, great blog–I’ll be back to read more!

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  9. Theresa Funk says:

    Deba ~ This was a very up-lifting article & so TRUE!! I was just having this SAME type of convo. with my Girlfriend yesterday! Keep up the good work! xo T

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