Monday, April 3, 2017

Console A Friend

Your friend is absolutely, positively, 100 percent sure that she’s going to get the job she applied for recently. She’s so certain, the two of you agree to celebrate over dinner. Then she calls and says, dejectedly: “I can’t believe it. I didn’t get the job.”
What do you do?

Knowing how to handle this sensitive situation, especially if your friend has been looking for work for a while, can be challenging.
While there’s no-one-size-fits-all answer, I’ve learned from my experience as a career coach that certain types of consoling responses tend to be more useful than others.

7 Ways to Help When a Friend Doesn’t Get a Job
Here are seven ways to help your friend (or any other special person in your life, including your spouse or adult child) deal with the aftermath of an unexpected job rejection. For simplicity’s sake, throughout this piece I’m describing the friend as a woman, but the advice would be the same for a man:
1. Offer a sympathetic ear. Often the most important thing you can do, at least initially, is be a good listener.
Diane Machado, director of career development and internships at the College of Mount St. Vincent in Riverdale, N.Y., says, “The best thing to do is let them talk about what happened without trying to instantly provide advice.”
 While your instinct might be to immediately go into fix-it mode, it’s more important to be a sounding board. This will allow your friend to process the news and her emotions.

2. Acknowledge the loss. Let your friend know that you recognize how disappointed she is. A simple but heartfelt “I’m so sorry” is often the best thing to say.
Steer away from platitudes, like “everything happens for a reason” or “this is a blessing in disguise.” A phrase like that might come across as trivializing your friend’s pain. “It totally negates the feelings the person is having,” Machado says.
Of course, it's fine to agree with your friend if she concludes on her own that “everything happens for reason.” Just don't be the one to put those words in her mouth.

3. Be sensitive to the unspoken issues of your friend’s employment search. Her reaction to not getting the position might be about more than just the job. There are often a host of financial, logistical and family worries connected to finding work.
Your friend might be up at night thinking things like: Will we need to move? How long will it be before I find a job? Can we afford to pay our daughter’s college tuition next year?

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