Sometimes it’s hard to know what to say to friends and family while searching for a new job. But here are some examples to help you do it better.
Almost everyone you know has found themselves without a job at some point. There’s no need to feel embarrassed.
One thing that might make you feel better is knowing what to say about your job search when talking with friends and family.
You Need Your Friends and Family Most Right Now
When my husband was out of work for over a year, he and I both went into seclusion. He was depressed. I was feeling blue too. We stopped hanging out with friends and we seldom left the house. Initially, we used the excuse that we didn’t have the money.
Neither one of us could help each other get out of this slump.
All too often, job search leads to isolation. This is dangerous for so many reasons. Don’t allow it to happen. (It’s hard given the current coronavirus situation, but not impossible.)
The other take-away is that job loss impacts the entire family unit. Children, parents, spouses, partners…everyone who loves you and cares about you is feeling your pain.
Don’t Job Search Alone
Are you hiding at home, hoping no one finds out that you are out of work? Perhaps you are embarrassed. Or, maybe you know an unemployed friend or family member who is embarrassed and hiding.
What can you do when you start feeling alone?
First, understand you are never truly alone. Second, realize that the only way out of this deep dark hole is to reach out to others. You do this by providing your friends and family with the opportunity to be helpful. You know they want to help.
Here are some ideas on how to reach out:
- Share with everyone you know the specific type of job you are looking for and more importantly the names of companies you would like to work for.
- Celebrate birthdays and holidays with others*
- Host a pot luck dinner at your place. Ask everyone to BYOB and a dish to pass*
- Invite a past co-worker or job seeking friend to attend a networking event with you*
- Volunteer with a professional association related to your line of work
- Help out in the community any way that feels right
- Reach out to past colleagues on LinkedIn or via phone or email and reconnect
*While you may not be able to do all of these things in person, look for virtual options, like Zoom birthday parties and happy hours.
Remember, when you’re thinking about what to say to friends and family about your job search, you want them to know specifically what type of work you are looking for. And always use positive, forward-thinking communication.
Phrases to Avoid
- I am looking for a management job, but I just need to work 5 more years.
- I’ve been looking for a job for over a year. The market stinks. If you hear of anything let me know.
- My search hasn’t been going so well, so I am willing to do anything.
- I have a background in accounting. I haven’t used it in a long time, but I think there is more stability in this career so I want to go back.
- I love being a manager and would love an opportunity to help a company grow and develop systems and their people.
- While I have been looking for a job, I’ve also been volunteering with a local charity to help raise money. I would love to use these skills in a non-profit that could use a good fundraiser.
- I’ve evaluated my strengths and want to stay true to what I love doing. I really am passionate about solving problems on the manufacturing line. This is where I want to be. If you know anyone who works for ABC, XYZ or PDQ, please, let me know.
- Throughout my career I have been drawn to numbers. Specifically, accounting functions. I know I can help a company better manage their accounting functions.
Hopefully, the before and after examples help connect the dots so you know what to say to friends and family and leave them with a positive impression of you and leave them with the information they can take action on.
How To Tell Them What You Do
Your pitch or as I like to call it a micro-pitch should be spoken in such a way that ANYONE can understand it.
Here is more help that explains How To Begin Talking to People About My Job Search.
And one of my favorite articles on how to explain what you do to family was written by Lee Lefevre of CommonCraft – How To Explain Your Job at a Family Dinner
Hannah Morgan speaks and writes about job search and career strategies. She founded CareerSherpa.net to educate professionals on how to maneuver through today’s job search process. Hannah was nominated as a LinkedIn Top Voice in Job Search and Careers and is a regular contributor to US News & World Report. She has been quoted by media outlets, including Forbes, USA Today, Money Magazine, Huffington Post, as well as many other publications. She is also author of The Infographic Resume and co-author of Social Networking for Business Success.