How to Help the Unemployed
Many of us know someone who is unemployed—a friend, a family member, a now-former coworker—as a result of the job market. Being unemployed, of course, is never easy. But how you help your friend in their time of need can make their unemployed period more bearable and manageable.
Ways to See Friends Through Unemployed Periods
Be understanding – Consider what a recently unemployed friend must be feeling: they haven’t just lost a job, but a sense of identity. Add to that the stigma of being unemployed and the fact that they now lack the security if a steady paycheck… it can be more than a little overwhelming. They probably feel embarrassed and scared, and even depressed. Be compassionate.
Help them develop their technical skills – Lots of agencies and companies are in need of tech-savvy people, to create Web sites, blogs, and use social media services like Facebook and Twitter.
Help polish their resume – A dozen rejections in a row during the job hunt is quite common—but it may also be a sign that a person’s resume is less than stellar. Offer your assistance in updating and polishing their resume to be more appealing to potential employers.
Help make their lives a little easier during the job hunt – Many adults are forced to spend hours dedicated to the job hunt, for days on end. Volunteer to babysit their kids, or help them around the house if they need it. They may feel like their lives are falling apart now that they’re unemployed and lack the control they once had: you can help it be more manageable.
Support their projects – Some people who become unemployed seek to regain control over their lives by starting a small business on the side to make ends meet until they find a more stable job. Support them. Send customers their way.
Think hard about giving a loan – Quick and easy funds may give your unemployed friend some relief, but more debt right now may be the last thing they need to put them at ease in the long run. If you do lend them money, don’t express disapproval later about how they spent it. And don’t regularly bring up your generous loan, either.
Give them stuff – Sometimes it’s easier on an unemployed person’s pride to accept items over cash. If you can afford it, bring over a couple of groceries or a meal, books, or other gifts to help them through their unemployed period. It needn’t cost much.
Talk the unemployed up – Being unemployed isn’t easy on the ego. They may feel bad about themselves, feel insecure and unsure, or maybe even depressed. If you know someone who has been recently unemployed, remind them of their skills and great qualities. They need assurance.
Suggest applying for funds – Your unemployed friend may qualify for charitable funds. Depending on their situation, they may be eligible for Zakat or Sadaqah funds from Zakat Foundation. There’s no shame in getting help if it’s needed, especially if the alternative choice is losing their house and becoming homeless.