Monday, March 8, 2010

Good Friends in Tough Times

In my last blog post, I wrote about the lows of being laid off, but it hasn’t been all despair. In fact, I’ve been buoyed by the outpouring of support I have received since being laid off by Humana just two weeks ago. The support has come from all quarters, including people I would have expected and some I would not have.

I sincerely appreciate each and every gesture. It’s not easy for people to come forward in such a difficult time. As a matter of fact, many people don’t reach out. They don’t know what to say. Or, even worse, they know they should say something, but fear doing it. It’s as if they think the layoff virus will spread like monkey pox.

That’s why being laid off is so isolating. Life seems like it’s divided between the “haves” (those who have a job) and the “have nots” (those who don’t).Thankfully, most of my coworkers didn’t get caught up in that. They just reacted. And with great compassion, I might add.

For the rest of you, here’s my list of things people need to hear from you after they’ve lost their jobs.
  • You're sorry for what happened to them.
  • You think they’re a good worker and you’re happy to recommend them.
  • You will be looking out for opportunities for them.

That’s it … except one last thing.

  • You recently won the lottery and would like to commission them to write your memoirs at an exorbitant salary, starting in the morning.

Since I haven’t heard that last one yet, I’ll focus my energies on finding my next gig, knowing that I have a lot of terrific people supporting me.

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