Losing your job and going through a job search is one of the most difficult challenges you will face in life. It’s an emotional roller coaster for you and your family.
COVID-19 is having a massive impact on jobs, and no one knows whether these job losses are temporary or permanent. You probably know an unemployed person. It might even be you.
Yet unemployment isn’t unique to COVID-19. Every year in our country, 21.7 million Americans lose a job they didn’t want to lose (Bureau of Labor Statistics 10-year average). That’s equal to every man, woman, and child living in Florida. And it happens every year! Chances are good; you will know people who become unemployed every single year.
You may wonder what you can do to help someone who is unemployed. How would you want someone to help you if you lost your job? Allow me to provide you a few thoughts on how you can help. You don’t have to do them all, but as many as you can will be helpful to them.
They will need plenty of encouragement as their job search can be lengthy and full of ups and downs. Call them. Send a personal note or an email. But don’t do it once and think you’re done; regular encouragement is crucial throughout their search.
When people don’t know what to say, they tend to keep their distance and say nothing. Don’t let that be you.
The unemployed will experience loneliness, having lost their work community. They need people in their lives to connect with regularly. If you are consistent in connecting, you become someone they can trust to listen and not judge, someone they can bounce ideas off of.
You become a “safe zone” for them, probably when they need it most.
Praise Their Efforts, Not the Results
The unemployed can’t create a job, make someone interview them, or hire them. They only control their efforts.
Affirm and praise their work in searching for a job—doing research, applying for jobs and networking—even if the results don’t show. It will take time.
To get the word out regarding their skills and availability, the unemployed need to get out and meet new people.
Introduce them to people you know. Don’t just say “use my name,” but help them by reaching out on their behalf. Ask the people you know if they will make time to meet with the person you know. Connect them directly with other people.
And, while “social distancing” has made meeting people in person more challenging, ask them if they will meet electronically via Zoom or some other platform.
When they say “yes,” because of their relationship with you, connect them. You’ve just opened a door, which is significant for them.
Never forget the power of prayer. Remember to pray for your unemployed friends regularly. When you are with them, open or close your time together with prayer. It’ll help remind them that others are praying for them. Encourage them to pray themselves as well.
Don’t underestimate the impact you can have in their life at this difficult time. They will forever remember those who helped them.
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
Check out these resources…
If you have a friend, spouse, or family member who’s become unemployed, consider sending them:
- Sending a link to these free resources.
- My book that offers spiritual encouragement for the unemployed, which you can purchase right here.
Or, you can facilitate a group study at your church or other small group using this resource.
Dear Dale…I so regret not writing to you every time I thought of you and Debbie! This morning, as II read your column, my mind brings forth Esther and her oft-tepeated, “…for such a time as is tthis”. Surely, The LORD chose to use you “for such a time as this”. HIS blessings to you and yours!