Yup, the economic news for the new year isn’t what any of us had hoped. U.S. unemployment held at just under 10%, but only because 661,000 workers have “removed themselves from the workforce”, a euphemism meaning they’ve given up looking for a job because they believe none are available. The picture’s not particularly brighter in the rest of the world either.
This hits close to home. Odds are good that you personally know at least 10-20 people who are currently unemployed, or as is increasingly common, under-employed, i.e., they have some part-time work, freelance work, or a full-time position at significantly lower pay than they’re accustomed to.
Sue Connelly wants to do something about that. As founder of KIT List, “an email job posting service where employers and recruiters advertise permanent or consulting job opportunities to over 58,000 high-quality professionals,” she knows that the jobs are there – she sees them come across the list every day.
So what’s her big idea? Simple, really – a “pay it forward wave“, this week – a concentrated effort to be proactive about getting our friends back to work. Here are some suggestions she has for simple ways to help:
- Forward a job lead
- Write a LinkedIn recommendation
- Review a friend’s resume and give objective feedback
- Set a time to meet for coffee or a drink (heck, we all need one these days!). In-person meetings are important, it buoys spirits and sparks ideas and energy – plus it’s fun!
- Make some calls on a friend’s behalf
- Pass on a link to a good job site or a great article on job search
- Make an introduction to a friend in a company he/she is interested in
- Reach out to a colleague who has been laid off from your company to see how he/she is doing and offer to make connections for him/her
- Become a “Job Buddy” – commit to meet on a regular basis to set goals and provide gentle accountability (if you are both looking for jobs, there’s a double benefit)
- Offer to do some role playing for a job interview
- Tell (and write down!) four strengths/qualities you see in your friend
- Review or help write a strong cover letter
- Invite a friend to connect to you on LinkedIn with the purpose of giving them access to your network so he/she can see if you have contacts in companies on their wish list
- Help with career ideas, brainstorm on other ways to use their skills, suggest good companies to target, how to transition into a new industry
And, of course, you can share about this on email lists, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc.
If we each just did 1-2 of these things every day, we may not end unemployment completely, but we might at least help the people we know and care about get back to work sooner rather than later.
Image credit: Photomish Dan