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My Career Crossroads

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  • Firstly know that your friend may experience a dramatic roller coaster ride of emotions over the next few weeks, or even months. It is not unusual for a person affected by job loss to feel positive one day and despondent the next. Let your friend know that mood swings are common in times of change.

  • As is the case in any loss situation redundancy can lead to a grief reaction and people generally have very different ways of coping with grief.

  • If your friend has suffered a previous loss in the last 1-2 years, such as a marital breakdown or the death of someone close, then feelings of grief over the loss of their job will likely be felt more deeply.

  • Take time to listen to what your friend has to say. Let your friend talk about their feelings but don’t get caught up in reinforcing any negative emotions – if will prevent your friend from taking control of the situation and moving forward.

  • Help your friend to relax and enjoy some good times. Have a laugh!

  • Recognize when your friend may be under stress and be ready to help them manage those stress levels. Encourage them to visit their GP for a medical check up. Ask if they would like you to go along too.

  • Realize that your friend is likely to be suffering from low levels of self-esteem and may need to be reminded of their positive qualities and strengths – repeatedly. Be supportive and not patronising.

  • Remind your friend that redundancy is the result of an employer having to make a business decision, and is not a personal insult or in any way a reflection of their contribution as a valued employee.

  • Provide practical and constructive suggestions around job search if and when it is needed but realize that they probably won't want to be talking about getting another job in every conversation you have.

  • Look after yourself too and don’t neglect your own needs or the needs of your family in your desire to help a friend through a difficult time.

  • Provide a Gift Certificate from the MyCareerCrossroads site and help your friend to look forward to and start planning for the future.

  • Continue to offer support throughout your friend’s job search activity. It isn’t likely that they will win the first job they apply for and they will need continued help to manage the discouraging times.