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7 Things You Shouldn’t Say To Your Unemployed Friends

7 Things You Shouldn’t Say To Your Unemployed Friends

Unemployment should be addressed carefully. Most people who are unemployed are not so because it’s their first choice, and it is therefore a sensitive subject. While it’s great to be there for your friends, there are some things that aren’t okay to say to them about their unemployment situation.

1. “You must have tons of free time now.”

There is a 99.99% chance that the person you’re talking to would much rather be using that time to earn a paycheck. While it can be tempting to say this in an attempt to look on the bright side and make your friend feel better, you should avoid bringing free time up at all. That free time is most likely becoming suffocating and very boring, so try to keep this out of the conversation. Similarly, don’t complain about how busy you are. Your friend probably understands that you’re busier because of your job, but mentioning it would seem rude.

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2. “Maybe you’re just not doing…”

If you have good suggestions as to where your friend might be able to find employment, that’s great. But it’s inappropriate to say that he’s doing something wrong or that he’s not doing something that he should be doing. That just places blame on your friend, and that’s definitely not something he needs right now.

3. “One of my friends was in this situation and she did this… you should try it!”

It’s very likely that your recently unemployed friend has a completely different skill-set than your currently employed friend. Whatever your employed friend did worked for her because of a specific set of circumstances, including her contacts, skills, education level, and location. Your unemployed friend is in a completely different situation, so it’s unfair to think that telling him about your other friend would be helpful. It actually turns out to be more discouraging, as it seems the other friend is simply more successful.

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4. “So how is the job hunt going?”

Every so often, it’s great to check in on your friend and see how he’s coming along. But asking repeatedly about his job search will just force your friend to say over and over again that it’s not going well. That isn’t a position you want to put your friend in. After a while, let your friend approach you about the topic.

5. “You’re lucky you don’t have to deal with this at work.”

No matter how bad your day at work was, don’t compare your fortune with your friend’s. While it may be that you wish you didn’t have to deal with something or someone at work, you’re still fortunate to have a job. Your friend is not likely to find himself fortunate that he doesn’t have to deal with something because he doesn’t have a job.

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6. “Don’t worry, I’ll get this.”

It is likely that your friend isn’t making any money at the moment, but offering too often to pay for the tab would seem patronizing, even if that’s not how you meant it at all. There is a fine line between offering to help someone out and doing it to the extent that it bothers that person. If your friend needs help, he’ll ask.

7. “I know how you feel.”

If you are not currently unemployed, don’t say this. Don’t even think it. Your friend is in a unique set of circumstances. While it’s good to talk with your friend and try to understand what he’s going through, you’re not in a position to truly know what he’s experiencing. Saying that you know how he feels simply trivializes his situation and makes you seem out of touch with how hard it really is to be unemployed.

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Featured photo credit: Scott Kellum via photpin.com

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Maggie Heath

Maggie is a passionate writer who blogs about communication and lifestyle on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on March 29, 2021

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

The Dream Type Of Manager

My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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“Okay…”

That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

The Bully

My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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The Invisible Boss

This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

The Micro Manager

The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

The Over Promoted Boss

The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

The Credit Stealer

The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

1. Keep evidence

Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

2. Hold regular meetings

Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

Good luck!

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