Keep Your Friendship and Get a Job

There are really only two options in employment (employed or unemployed). With the unemployment rate around a steady 8.3% chances are most of your friends if not yourself are unemployed, especially if you’re millennials. A group of friends gets rapidly more boring as everyone’s money dwindles and people move back into their childhood bedrooms and basements.

It’s natural to want everyone to get some kind of work before you all become potato chips (about one stage and a half after a couch potato). If you’re working, you will want to push your unemployed friends further to get jobs so you that everyone can return to enjoying happy hour at your local watering hole. If you’re not employed and looking with your friends, your frustrations might eventually be taken out on your friends. Additionally, your friends might be as motivated, more motivated or completely careless—all of which can be real deal breakers when you’re on the other side of the spectrum. Here’s some advice about how to handle it.

  1. A Man with a Full Belly Doesn’t Understand the Plight of the Starving

If you’re employed, it is likely your mentality will be “I got a job, so why can’t you?” After which you will begin to go on Criaglist in your free time and spam your friend’s email with all kinds of postings where he may/may not be remotely employable. This does not help your friend. If he/she is not right for the job, they will just receive another distressing rejection letter. It might be better to suggest opportunities. “Hey there’s a position at this company where I have connections, it’s not what you want, but it might be a good idea while you keep looking around,” sounds a lot better than mass emails that will make them feel like you do not trust that they’re making an effort. In addition, there’s a good chance other people are already wailing on them so you can easily sit back and take the supportive role.

  1. You Can Lead a Horse To Water…

So let’s say your friend is unemployed and he tells you “sure, I will look into that” about a position that’s open in your company. You promptly do not receive a resume from him, no phone call, zero effort. You send him a Criaglist listing for a position where you know the hiring manager and he thinks your friend would be perfect. Still, no response. You point out a new job board he can use that is specific to his experience ( for creatives for example) and he says tone of the classics:”I don’t know if that’s something I want,” or “I’m considering just waiting this economy out, no one is hiring in my field right now,” and finally, “I just don’t want to deal with that.” Finally, they can lie and tell you they applied when you know they didn’t. This is the perfect situation where it’s ok to tell yourself you’ve done enough and it’s time to step back. What it all comes down to is that your friend does not want to be employed and doesn’t want your help either. Take the hint, fire one last suggestion of staffing companies he can ask for help and let him do whatever he needs to do. Eventually, when you go to the bar without him or he sees the nice apartment you can now afford, he will come around.

  1. Eyes on The Prize

Here you are, going crazy, applying every day to at least 3 different positions. Taking the saying “searching for work is a full time job,” to a whole new level with your obsessiveness and determination. And your friend has the audacity to send you another position?! ….wait, this actually looks good, I am going to put a resume together for them.

Anyway, there’s your friend doing absolutely nothing and keeps complaining about it. Jobs are not just jumping into his arms by themselves. Well, here the same advice applies as above. Let them run their course and natural competitive instincts take their course. Once you put on a suit and get out there and they see it, they will catch up. Maybe he or she  will even let you proof read his resume.

Of course, the economy is horrid and finding a job includes so many various factors that might not even be within our control. Whether the whole group of your friends is unemployed or just you, there’s always something to do that’s cheaper than going to a bar. For one, utilize your parent’s basement and buy a six pack instead of going out. Better yet, take a hike or go the beach. Even better, go to a local bookstore and look through their job reference books to help you along the search. Attend networking events together, even if you’re employed. After all, friends should still be there for support so just have fun with the fact that unemployed or not, you have company. Stay in your own business but let a good opportunity pass you or your friend while you’re looking in the wrong direction either. Try not to make mom have to clean the basement too often, it wouldn’t kill you to do your own laundry during your stay either.