How to Help a Friend with Job Searching

Heather Palow
February 20, 2019

If you’re not currently on the hunt for a new job yourself then you can likely pause a moment and think of at least a couple of people close to you who are experiencing the roller coaster of job searching right about now.

It can be down right heart wrenching to watch those closest to you go through the highs and lows of interviewing. To support others in their job search process:

  • Listen. Oftentimes people can’t express their job change challenges with their spouse or their coworkers so emotions build up inside. If they’ve opened up to you, then they trust you enough to provide a sounding board to hear them out.
  • Ask Your Friend if They Want Advice Before You Give it. Sometimes people just need to vent, other times they really would like to hear the job search strategies you have to give. Understanding where your friend is at in their job search process will help you to know what advice to share
  • Make Introductions. 70% of new jobs are found through networking and information interviews. Who do you know in the career / industry your friend is in that you can connect your friend to? Email introductions and LinkedIn networking are great ways to start new conversations when two people have your connection in common.  
  • Share Resources. If you’re concerned that money might be tight, there may be some extra things you can do to make life a little easier for your friend including:
    • Volunteer to babysit while they go on the job interview.
    • Share your closet if you’re similar size and have interview appropriate attire or shoes.
    • Share your knowledge around how to create a professional brand or inspiring podcasts.
    • Practice virtual job interviewing to help them get comfortable with answering questions with their computer / camera / technology. Provide feedback if you see a glare on their glasses, the leaning tower of paperwork in the background, or they are situated in front of a window and they need to pivot the computer for better lighting.
  • It’s their Job Search, Not Yours. No matter how much you want to help or how many resources you try and give your friend, ultimately, it’s their job search and they have to find their motivation to find the career or job that’s right for them.  

There are many different ways to do a job search, various priorities, lots of paths and one person’s destination is another person’s stop along the road to finding the best job or career so lending a sympathetic ear can often be the best first step.

Most people offer to help once and forget to follow up, be the friend that adds a note to your calendar to stay in touch.

After all, you never know when you’ll be next on the job search roller coaster.

Heather Palow Finding Your Moment

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