Monday, December 14, 2015

Do not say this to someone who's been laid off

Yes, people are still getting laid off, despite the perky official statements.

Mary Lorenz, CareerBuilder, reminds us that people who have lost their job can range from angry, to depressed, to in denial, to humiliated. What you say next can matter.

Some no-nos:

"Don't let it get you down." A job loss can feel like a death--you can go through the five stages of grief--of course, you are down. Give the person time and space before throwing this one out.

"You'll bounce back." How do you know? This may be an emotional downward spiral. And don't try those dumb ideas like "Everything happens for a reason" or "When a door closes..."

"What did you do?" Hey--maybe the person did nothing to deserve it, but thanks for blaming it on them.

"Wish I had a reason to leave my job." You don't.

"Well, here is MY advice..." Who asked?

"OMG, are you freaked out right now?" Maybe the person was dealing, but THEN got freaked out hearing that.

Instead, Lorenz says, say: "I am here for you." And listen--don't always try to fix or give advice, just listen.

Speaking of listening, I listened to a sort of funny book called, "Nothing Happens Until it Happens to You," by a newspaper columnist named T.M. Shine, who gets abruptly laid off. It had its moments--he languished in unemployment, encountered a nutty life coach, seemed to get pretty used to being a costumed waver (see pix), reluctantly rides a dolphin, befriends a crazy neighbor woman, looks for a long-lost grade school buddy, drinks in a clearing in the woods with his pals, and of course, sends out  few resumes.

Some of these strategies are not recommended, by the way.

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