We rely on work for everything from keeping our bank accounts robust to providing a sense of identity. I don't claim to know what it is like to struggle to buy groceries or feed children. My stint of unemployment has been due to the difficulties of starting a business, and, as such, has been of my own making. Certainly I've experienced what it is not to have a paycheck, despite working steadily over a long period of time. My husband, however, took his life after a sudden, unexpected change in a professional position that made up the sum of his life's work. It was not the only factor in his suicide, but it was definitely the deciding factor. His work and his love of it defined him as a person and as a physician, and the loss of it (more accurately, its replacement with work that held no interest for him) plunged him into a state of overwhelming depression and panic from which he could not recover. So I know as well as anyone how devastating the loss of a job, of a career, can be.
But I also want this page to include how we can help friends through other catastrophes that cause precipitous plunges in income and lifestyle. I think of fires, mudslides and storms that leave people without homes, sometimes barely escaping with their own lives, much less with pets and livestock. Contact me if you can contribute—by emailing email@example.com or use the form below.
An All-Weather Friend Booklet
By Mary McDaniel Cail
Truewind Press ©2015
What you'll learn:
Everyone knows unemployment is a difficult situation, especially when it drags on for months, even years. Do you know how to help a friend navigate through this stressful time of life—What to say, what to do? This short booklet (with more than 50 strategies) suggests practical ways to:
- Support your friend's job search
- Minimize the expense of socializing: Organize friends in ways that are free (or low cost) and fun.
- Help your friend cope with the uncertainty and worry.
- Encourage without criticizing.
With strategies, suggestions and conversation guides, Between Jobs: Ten Ways to Help a Friend Who's Unemployed outlines how to make the crisis more bearable. You can help in practical ways—without hurting a friend's pride. But even more important, you can show real understanding when your friend feels discouraged. Joblessness won't last. Gratefulness for your comfort and compassion will.