How To Help Someone Struggling With A Job Search Because Of Ageism
It can be difficult to watch as a acquaintance, friend or loved one goes through a difficult job search, but there are ways that you can help them. Sometimes it can take hundreds and hundreds of resumes sent out before an individual lands a job, even if they are “a perfect fit” on paper for many of the roles they are going out for. Knowing that they match the job postings almost perfectly, and then being told they aren’t the right fit, can be detrimental to their emotional state, and they will need someone to lean on, and not just that – they will also need someone to help.
How can you help, though? When you’re not the one applying for the jobs, you’re not the one taking the interviews, you’re not the one receiving the crushing news that you just weren’t the right match for each of these companies. You are already lending an ear, and a shoulder, but there’s more that you can do to end the vicious cycle of applying and receiving negative responses from organizations.
Gift A Professional Brand Manager
Instead of bringing a bottle of wine, or a gift card, to your next social gathering, bring a coupon for a professional brand manager. That can mean gifting a mentor session, a professional resume re-write, or an hour or two of a social media consultants time. These gifts can help in massive ways.
A mentor might give the individual insight into their personal story in the workplace that they hadn’t thought of – giving them a talking point that will win them upcoming interviews.
A resume re-write could insert trigger words into their initial interaction with organizations that could make all the difference in getting through to the next level of the interview process.
A social media consultant could help re-brand the individual’s image to create a well-rounded story that draws in recruiters and connects with them on a more personal level.
These non-typical gifts could be life-changing to anyone who is struggling with getting through to the finish line of job interviews and receiving offers.
Bring Them As Your Plus-One To Networking Events
It can be tough to get invites to work networking events when you’re out of a job. If you have the ability to sign up for events – from local meet-ups to conferences – try to bring your unemployed friends as your plus-one. Get them around potential employers and get them talking.
There’s a good chance that these in-person conversations in work environments could land your friend their next job. Plus, even if it doesn’t, it will give them more practice with “interviewing.” Every networking conversation is an opportunity to share their narrative, and to practice telling their story.
Plus, bringing your friend into networking opportunities will reinvigorate them. Getting told “no” in interviews can be detrimental to their emotional state, and networking can help grow their excitement and change the way they look at upcoming interviews. Going into an interview in a good head-space can in-turn change the outcome to a more positive one.
Keep Adding To Their Personal Story
It’s becoming more and more apparent that what’s on paper isn’t the only thing being looked at by recruiters and hiring managers. Instead, potential interviewees are being looked at based more-so on their personal story or brand. One simple way to help a friend or loved one who is looking for work, is by continuing to grow their story, and therefore grow their talking points during interviews.
Join a club or sport with them. When an interviewer asks how they spent their weekend they will have an exciting opportunity to dote on rather than simply saying they cleaned the house. Plus, these clubs or sports also become networking opportunities that aren’t as blatant as networking work events. Therefore, it’s a more low-key way to practice talking points, get comfortable meeting new people, and a way to grow a personal narrative.
Watch a documentary or attend a book reading that gears towards innovation. Getting the gears turning can spark new ideas, new talking points, and an energized way to converse during upcoming interviews.
Go for a hike. Open air changes people’s perspective. Get your friend in a happy place, make them excited about what’s coming up in their career. Get them to keep going, and keep positivity surrounding them.
No matter how you energize those around you who are bogged down by interview after interview and no job offers, the fact that you are helping is incredible. Pat yourself on the back, you’re doing a great thing, and it will pay-off for your friend in the future. Just be patient.