How to support a coworker if they suddenly lose their job

Twenty Ten Talent - How to support a colleague if they suddenly lose their job

Layoffs are awful. Not only can layoffs be devastating for the ones who are let go, but they are also heart-breaking for the ones left behind. The survivors are also experiencing lose. They are losing friends, advocates and mentors from their daily work lives. Plus, many inherit the work of two to three full-time employees. It’s a bad deal for everyone involved.

Each person who is affected by a layoff deserves a space to grieve. You may have lost a great boss. Maybe the office feels kind of empty. Here are some tips to bring positive energy back into your office and life.

Write some LinkedIn recommendations and respond to requests to connect.
You want the people who helped you in your current role to prosper. But you might not have the words to express it. It’s awkward on both sides. But you can digitally provide some encouragement by connecting to them on LinkedIn. You can also endorse their skills. Or, write recommendations on their pages to help them look more attractive to recruiters. This way, no verbal exchange is required. But they will get the message that you are there to be supportive.

Ask around about open positions and make some referrals.
If you have recruiters or executives in your life who are looking for talent, ask if they have any current openings. A lot of jobs are filled without being posted online. There are a variety of reasons why some jobs cannot be posted, like the person in the role has not publicly announced that he or she is leaving the company yet. But you can help by making a discrete introduction between the hiring manager and an eligible candidate.

Host a get together.
Just like in dating, having mutual connections can aid in making stronger relationships. If you know people in the same industry or job function, introduce them. Professional connections can happen at bars, restaurants or dinner parties. Think about people that have complementary personalities and careers that you can connect. Even if you don’t know if the invited parties have current openings, valuable connections can still be made for sharing information and tips.

Statistically speaking, most people will experience one or more layoffs in their lifetime. No one is immune. So treat people as you would like them to treat you, if you were in their position.


Post by Christian McKenzie

Christian McKenzie is a retail marketer who has worked for Macy’s, Sears and NBC. Currently she’s an Account Manager for Pear, formerly Apparel Media Group. You can follow her journey on Twitter at @xian_mckenzie.


For more advice on how to handle losing a job check out 10 things to do right away if you get fired

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