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Finding your next job - The Next Step Project
For Mentors

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1. Helping to get in the right mental space

Help folks remember to be kind to themselves and work through these times

Why it matters

This is an incredibly stressful, difficult time for those who’ve been laid off. Making sure they’ve got the support they need before diving into an already difficult endeavor (job hunting!) will be an essential step to setting them up well.
If you’re helping someone at this stage in the process, understanding where someone is coming from emotionally, personally, and professionally is important for knowing what what steps they should take next.
This is a critical step in the job search process, especially after a layoff, and can be the most emotionally taxing for a mentor. Be sure you are in a good space to be able to offer this kind of support.

What to remember

Do check your assumptions
Remember that your job seeker may not be experiencing the same problems you would if you were in their shoes - which requires you to step outside your own experiences. Remember that they also may not have the same resources and assets that you do - including the strength of their networks, finances, etc. Strive to be mindful of this in every interaction you have, to ensure you’re supporting them the way they need to be, not the way you necessarily would want to be.
Do listen
Remember that this is not about you. This is a great exercise and opportunity to build on and leverage your .
Do let them vent
Ask before offering advice. If you’re not sure about what they want, try asking: Make sure you .
Don’t use platitudes
This includes things like, “you’ll be fine! Don’t worry!” These often have the opposite unintended effect of making the other person feel like you’re diminishing their concerns - and take away from the safe space you may’ve hoped to create.
Do be cautious
Avoid discussing how / why layoffs were executed, etc. This is particularly important if you are still with the same employer as it may bring about unintended legal risks. Allow the person to speak their piece, but refrain from responding with your own speculation or additional commentary.
Ways to help folks get in the right mental space
Level of Effort
How's That Look?
Check-in with your connections
This may vary based on the type of a connection. A reach out to a friend versus a former direct report may look different, but can still be meaningful. The resources below can help you determine how (and to whom) to check-in.
Conduct ½ hour check-in / pump up sessions
For someone you have a relationship with, or are willing to commit to longer term, spend some time on the phone or Zoom to connect on how they’re doing and provide encouragement in their efforts as they move through steps 2, 3, and 4.
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More resources

Unsure of how to broach conversations? Here’s resources with do’s and dont’s when checking in with those who’ve recently been laid off.

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