How To Support a Loved One Who’s Been Laid Off

3 minutes

Being laid off or fired is never easy. Rejections are always difficult to cope with. When the company we have worked for months or even years, tells us that they don’t need us anymore, the feeling of being unwanted can be overwhelming.

Supporting someone who lost a job can be difficult too. When someone close to us, be it a friend or family member, gets fired, it can be really difficult to handle the situation. You may want to do everything in your power to help them, but you may be clueless about what it is that you can do to help them.

Here are few tips to sail through this phase with them:

1. Be their support system

Assure them that you’re there for them if they want. Encourage them to vent out; suppressing and hiding emotions won’t help. Tell them that there’s nothing to be ashamed of, and that this too shall pass.

Support them

2. Give them their space

While supporting them, you must also give them the space that they want. Don’t intimidate them while providing them with a support system. The person who has lost the job, goes through various stages of emotions such as grief, fear, anxiety, guilt and anger. Give them time to pass through all these. Don’t be too pushy or interfering. There’s no need to repeatedly ask them “Did you find a job yet?”. It can be frustrating for them. Give them space and tell them that they can always count on you and you’ll be there whenever they need you.

3. You need not advice

Again, this is only after they’re done grieving, if they aren’t ready to take another job or haven’t come to terms with the situation, restrain from giving them any pieces of advice. If they’re ready to take up new jobs, then do help them throughout the process by providing job leads and encouragement. Also, help them prepare for interviews, brainstorm new career paths, provide feedback or recommendations on their work or help them look for job opportunities in their fields of expertise.

4. Urge them to stay occupied

Encourage them to spend quality time with with family and friends, or pursue their hobbies. Don’t let them isolate themselves socially.

5. Look after their physical health

Keep an eye on their eating habits, exercise and sleep routine. Do ask them about it. Encourage them to go out, meet people and build their network. Take them out for coffee or lunch.

Make sure they stay fit

6. Stay agile about Depression

Be aware of signs of depression if your loved one feels low for more than a month or two. Sleeping, eating or drinking, too much or too little, along with a consistently feeling sad, may be signs that they need help from mental health professionals.

This article is a part of  #Fired2FiredUp Campaign by YourDOST. Visit the page for real life stories, learnings and tips from career psychologists and recruiters.

Have you experienced a layoff recently? Are you finding it difficult to cope with it? Talk to an Expert at YourDOST.

Sushma Hebbar

Sushma Hebbar is a Senior Psychologist at YourDOST. She is an experienced career psychologist with a Master's in Clinical Psychology. She has worked with clients of different age groups, dealing with a wide variety of psychosocial & life adjustment problems that people face in their everyday lives. She has an extensive experience of dealing with career confusions, academic issues, relationship issues, exam stress and skill development. She worked as a facilitator and trained children for the development of Higher Order Thinking Skills. During her internship at All India Institute of Speech and Hearing at Mysore, she worked with children having ADHD, Learning disability and even those who were intellectually disbaled and suffered from Down syndrome. Her belief is that every individual is unique and has the right to be happy, which clearly goes on to show her liberal mindset.