It’s natural to feel uncomfortable if you’ve kept your job while your colleagues have lost theirs. But don’t let your discomfort prevent you from reaching out and offering to lend a hand. First, get clear on their aspirations. Instead of making assumptions about what they’re looking for, ask them directly. You could say: “If it’s helpful, I’d love to be on the lookout for you. Do you have a sense of what’s next, or what type of job would be ideal?” Then, make it easy on them by proactively clarifying what type of support you can lend. You could say: “I’d be glad to strategize about your LinkedIn profile or do a mock job interview with you — just say the word.” If relevant, you can also offer to make specific connections. And follow their lead on how to provide emotional support. Some days they may be feeling optimistic (“I landed an interview!”), and other days they may veer toward doubt (“I wonder if I have what it takes…”). Listen attentively and provide the support they need at that particular moment. Ultimately, just make it clear that you’ve got their back.

This tip is adapted from “How to Help a Colleague Who’s Been Laid Off,” by Dorie Clark and David Lancefield

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