We face to two choices with these friends...we can turn the other way and make like we don't see their misfortune, or we can extend a helping hand.
Ron Leiber recently wrote a terrific column in the New York Times on this subject: Layoff's Duty to The Less Fortunate. Beyond Ron's thoughtful list of tips, he has posted a a fine list of recommendations from Amy Baker that originated from a time when she was laid off.
Because I am so grateful for my very active consulting business and compassionate about those losing their job for no reason of their own doing, I have chosen to extend the helping hand, rather than just turn away and ignore the problem.
My personal focus with people in this situation is to inquire about the support network they have in place.
Ultimately, getting re-employed is more than a one person task in these trying times.
It is critical that a person quickly put in place the right support team and make good use of such a team. The role of the right team is to provide both emotional support and substantive assistance.
Amy Baker's list is so good that I will now also use her wonderful list in my efforts to help friends in this situation.
Here is the wonderful thing about helping people who have been laid off. Not only will you be helping your friends, but you will also experience a sense of gratitude that will help you in many dimensions of your own life.
Prospering in tough times is about more than just hoarding the largest pile of money in these tough times!