In your holiday travels, you will likely come across someone who is in between jobs or unhappy in their work.  (Or that person may be you.)

How can you support them?  (Or yourself?)

Here’s what support DOES NOT look like:

“Oh, wow, you’re still looking for a job?  I thought you would have found something by now.”

“Are you starting to get worried that people will think you’ve been out of work too long/ that you’re stuck at your current employer?”

“You should do (fill in the blank).”   No one likes to be told what to do.  Even worse, suggest something way below their skill level.

Here’s what support DOES look like:

“You really did some great things for (former employer).  Any company would be lucky to get you.”

“Can I help?  Let me know if there are types of people you’re looking to meet and I’ll think about whom I might know.”

“Do you want to meet me for a cup of coffee in a week or two and we can catch up on what you’re looking for?”

If you’re the person in between roles, I know it can get tiring to feel like you have to put on a brave face for people. 

So, ask for help!

“You know me well; are there skills you see that I have that you think I could use in a different way?”

“Can I come meet you for a cup of coffee to pick your brain about (specific field or topic)?”

“Will you let me know if you ever run into anyone who (works at x company/is in x field) who may be open to a conversation?”

Say what you’re grateful for 

Most of all, people in a full-time job search need a break from constantly thinking about their search.  They may also be in a time of their life when confidence is at an all-time low.  What about telling them something you’re grateful for about their friendship?

Verbally appreciating their gifts and talents, and helping with their job search may, in fact, be the best gift you can give this year.