Since the star of this article is one of our friends—former Thumbplay PR, and comedian, Heather Fink— we think these are some pretty useful tips.
- Instead of being funereal or unrealistically optimistic, say something like “I hope things work out for you,” suggests Jeanne Fleming, who co-wrote the book “Isn’t It Their Turn To Pick Up the Check?” with Leonard Schwarz.
- Treat them to a cup of coffee or lunch.
- “Be a sounding board,” says Donna Rosato, a senior editor at Money magazine.
- If you have the money, be generous.
- Holiday gifting (and receiving): “Reach out and let your jobless friends off the hook by saying everyone’s cutting back and you’d rather spend time together than money this year,” says Money magazine’s Rosato.
- For birthday and holiday dinners – or just regular friendly gatherings – pick a cheaper restaurant, someone’s home or an alternative activity.
- Don’t pick up the check more than once or twice. “You want to be generous but not create an entitlement project,” says Schwarz.
- Help friends conserve money; don’t encourage poor friends to splurge on credit cards or spend money they shouldn’t on expensive activities. Instead, the employed person can help by finding alternatives to the $200 concert or the $100 mani-pedi. Instead, find a free concert or throw a manicure party.
- Offer to brainstorm career moves, suggest informational interviews or review cover letters and résumés.
- Don’t shy away from talking to them. Approach the laid-off as if they fell off their bike and broke their wrist – not as a charity case.”Say, ‘I’m sorry. How are you doing? What’s the prognosis?’ ” Schwarz says. “Don’t focus on the emotional side.”
- Don’t loan money, especially if it will harm your own financial well-being.
- If the laid off person is your significant other, pay more of the bill.
- Keep in touch with your friend. Likely she’ll fall off the radar; make more of an effort to see her.
Picture via New York Post.