What Can The Employed Do For Their Unemployed Friends?

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

It's a question on the minds of lots of employed people these days: What can I do to help my unemployed friends? Justin Jones-Fosu, leadership trainer and host of WEAA Baltimore's "Listen Up," shares advice and information for those who want to help, but are afraid of sounding condescending.

We also talk with Elena Guevara, a technical fashion designer who's been out of work for most of the past nine months, about what her friends have been doing to help her, and what they could be doing more of.

And we're asking listeners: If you have a job, how are you helping friends who have lost theirs? If you are unemployed, what kind of help do you need?


Elena Guevara and Justin Jones-Fosu

Produced by:

Kristen Meinzer

Comments [3]


3. Don't tell stories about how your daughter/grandson/sister/aunt/husband looked for the longest time and then finally found a great job. We're not that person, nor in that person's exact situation, so why would we expect to have the same success? I know you think it makes us feel better, but it doesn't. It's not that we're sour grapes about the success of someone you care about...it's that you think the fact that someone else got a job is proof that our situation will turn out the same way and we know better; it's like telling William Hung that because Kelly Clarkston won American Idol, he can too.

Feb. 03 2010 09:24 AM

2. But do offer GOOD job leads you hear about. Your friend's company is hiring and you'll put in a good word for us,or there's an opening you just heard about in the department you work for? Great. Don't keep that stuff to yourself. You may not be sure it's what we're looking for, but if it isn't obviously what we DON'T want (cleaning toilets, an ad for a doctor when our degree is in computer science), pass it along and we can act on it if we wish (we're more desperate than you think--we'll apply for anything we may have an inkling of qualifications for). And then let it go and don't speak of it again unless we do...if we don't get it, we don't want to have to admit to you later that we didn't apparently pass muster with your friend or your boss.

Feb. 03 2010 09:24 AM

When I was struggling to find a job after college, I would've had several pieces of advice:
1. Best thing is not to mention it at all, unless what you want to say about it is "I have a lead for you" and the lead is a good one (spare us the disappointment of applying for a job you heard of vaguely from some distant acquaintance, at a company that may or may not be hiring some time this decade). You don't need to ask did we find anything yet...if the answer is yes, you'd probably already know; if the answer is no, we now have to admit to you--and the ten other people who've asked--once again that no, we're still a loser who can't get a job.

Feb. 03 2010 09:23 AM

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