The axe is falling at my company right now, as it is at many, many others across the country. Understatement: This is a stressful time.
Support doesn’t have to involve money, and you don’t have to be in a position to hire in order to help someone else get back on their feet. Here are five simple things you can do to help a friend who has been laid off:
1.) Ask them to network with you. I’ve seen a huge uptick in the number of LinkedIn invitations and recommendation requests I’ve received lately, and it makes sense — sometimes, the best way to land a job is to know someone in the business. An email asking them to peruse your LinkedIn contacts or be your friend on Facebook costs you nothing, and may help them meet someone who can help them get back on their feet. (Hmmm… maybe we should Facebook with our bosses after all.)
2.) Offer up your home office. Do you have a fax machine that they can use? How about a high-speed Internet connection? A scanner or copier? These are things that you might take for granted, but to someone who has lost their day job — and perhaps their access to all things office — they can make a big difference.
3.) Spread the word. An out-of-work friend may decide to take the opportunity to start her own home-based business — in which case, let everyone know about it. If she’s offering a service you can use, become a client, and give her sincere feedback so she can help make her business the best it can be. Do you have a skill that could help her new business? Maybe she’d be willing to barter, so you both get the benefit.