Lending a Hand to Uplift: Helping Your Friend Get the Job

Paying it Forward

In today’s competitive corporate culture, “looking out for number one” is common practice. Many of us are taught to focus on our own success and do whatever it takes to make it to the top. But, is this truly fulfilling? Is this the kind of culture we want to continue to thrive in, one of cutthroat strategy, winners, and losers? While it’s important to help ourselves before we help others, we must not forget to do the latter when we are able.

Reaching out to others who are struggling in their professional journey or who need a little bit of motivation and support is a beneficial practice, not only for those receiving the help, but for those providing it, as well. Everyone wins when we help each other succeed, because in doing so, we improve the lives of everyone around us. A company gains a great new hire, your friend gets the job she always wanted, and you have the benefit of knowing you’ve made a difference. Helping others may even benefit you directly; people notice when you go the extra mile, and may extend opportunities or benefits to you in return.

You may not feel comfortable or confident in helping others with their job search, but you likely are able to provide value in more ways than you believed were possible. Let’s go over some of the methods and rules for providing professional resources and guidance.

Do Your Research

Before you can offer help, you need to know what your friend needs. Understanding factors about their personal life, such as where they live, if they have any dependents, and any current interests and skills they may have is key to knowing how you can best help them. These factors may rule out certain job openings that may come your way, whether it’s due to distance or responsibilities they will take on. If they quit, were fired, or were unsatisfied with a previous line of work, factor that into your recommendations for them. If something in particular, like long hours, drove them away from their previous job, then a new position with those same hours may not work out well for them.

Once you understand what their current situation is, you can provide them with relevant information. Send your friend any job postings you come across online or out in the world that fall within their field of interest. They are likely doing their own research, but they might not have access to the same resources you do. New listings also update quickly, they may have trouble staying on top of all of their sources.

Etiquette Rules

While you may be eager to step up to the plate when you see someone in need, it’s best to play it cool and allow them to take the lead. Asking for help can make some feel vulnerable, so it’s typically best practice to let them be in control of the situation. Always ask before offering help. Don’t just send them the information you think they need, ask for what they need and if what you can offer would be valuable to them.

Moreover, be specific with how you offer to help. Simply saying that you’d like to help doesn’t prove that you may actually be able to provide them with valuable assistance. Name ways that you think you can help or ask specifically how they would like to be helped.

On another note, be mindful of their previous career status. If they are trying to keep a career change on the down-low, refrain from making public statements about their situation on social media or sharing information about it with th