Helping an Unemployed Friend or Family Member

Help for the Unemployed - Out of Work

Do you have an out of work friend that could use some help?

Losing a job elicits a lot of emotions: worry, shame, depression, and even confusion.

And, while you may never have been a victim of unemployment, odds are you probably know someone who has.

Whether it's a friend or a family member, helping someone who has become unemployed can be tough.

But, being supportive is one of the most important things we can do to help an unemployed family member back on his or her feet.

Here are a few tips you can employ to help an unemployed friend or family member:

Be a Friend to the Unemployed

While this may sound a little cliché, being someone that an unemployed friend or family member can depend on is important to his or her mental well-being. Being a good friend doesn't mean that you have to support them financially per se.

Inviting them over for lunch or dinner at your house once a week will not only help your loved one's budget, but also gives them a chance to get things off their chest. Making sure that your friend or family member feels included is important to his or her well-being as well.

Help with the Job Search

Your unemployed friend or family member may not have the extra money for things like an Internet connection or extra gas money to look for employment. It definitely costs to find a job in today's world.

Here is where you can really make a difference. Offer to allow your friend or family member the opportunity to use your computer and Internet service to locate potential jobs and then, whenever possible, offer to take him or her to job interviews, pay for a bus pass for one month, or give them a car as a gift.

Help Network for the Unemployed

You can utilize your contacts to help locate a job for your unemployed friend or family member yourself. Now, this can be at your current place of employment if you are comfortable doing such or by keeping your ear out for job openings at the companies where your friends and other family members work.

Consider Financial Help for the Unemployed

One of the most daunting issues for an unemployed individual is the mounting pressure of unpaid bills. And, while I am not an advocate of loaning money, giving a monetary gift can make a huge difference in the life of your friend or loved one. In most cases, the monetary gift does not have to be in cash. Rather, you can pay the utility bill or purchase some groceries from time to time.

But, keep in mind, these gifts are not loans. It's usually a bad idea to loan money to family anyway. They are gifts. Only give what you can afford to as you should not expect any of this money back.

The most important thing to remember when trying to help an unemployed friend or family member is to make sure that they know that they are loved, respected and still a part of your family.

Depression is an issue with individuals who become unemployed and have trouble finding a new job and just knowing that they are still connected to the family unit or circle of friends will go a long way in helping them keep a positive outlook until their situation changes.

Have you ever been unemployed? In what ways were friends and family most helpful?

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  1. I was set up by co-worker who wanted and got my job but denied it. She still makes my salary and now my unemployment has expired. I tried to start a biz from home but limited in funds made this difficult. Jobs/interviews are not plentiful here, now I may loose my house. My family and friends have not done any of the above. They are too busy w/their lives, don’t understand, judge and avoid me in general. They do not know the amount of resumes I’ve sent, calls I’ve made, follow up to applications etc. I was wrongfully termed as UI proved when the company fought my unemployment. Now, I’m labeled it seems and lost so much financially, emotionally and a lot of living. I’m angry and depressed and generally thing people are selfish, self absorbed and idiots especially after  all of this, HR dept does not think that company managers are ever in the wrong or corrupt….they forget ENRON already.  I’ve spoken with HR at a few companies just asking why I did not get a call and the tone/judgemental attitude was so disturbing. I have a mother already and you are not her, you don’t have the facts and I’m appauled.  Thankful to my church for keeping my utilities on this month. I literally have $38 in my bank account which I will have to close so I have gas to get to an interview when I get a phone call.  My “friends” and others who know me and the situation have never done any of the above, they have left me in isolation and pretty much feeling like if I wasn’t around it wouldn’t make a difference. They ‘say’ otherwise but actions speak louder than words. I wish I won the MegaMillions last week so I could just start over somewhere else and stay a month at a spa to alleviate all the stress.

  2. I think networking and being a friend by not forgetting about their unemployment are the most important things you mentioned, especially for people who have been unemployed long-term. And don’t assume that they’re only looking for the kind of job they used to have. Often they may be interested in other things as well.

  3. I love the be a friend comment. Invite them over for dinner, go for a walk together, maybe babysit their kids (if they have any) while they go on an interview. Let them borrow clothes for job interviews, etc. There are tons of ways to be a great friend without spending any money.