Saturday afternoon my wife woke me from a nap and told me our 4 year old daughter was running to a friends house and tripped really hard.
She had smashed her two front teeth inwards, and there was a lot of blood. It was scary, to say the least.
(update: she seems to be doing well. No broken bones (jaw, nose, etc.) and we’re hoping she has a full, sweet recovery)
I could write six blog posts about the experience, but I want to focus on one, and tie it to people who just learn they lost their job (or lost something else that is big).
My wife and I were sitting in the emergency room with our daughter, who was laying on the bed. We were waiting for the next update and we had all kinds of questions. Of course, as parents we think about the worst case possibilities and wonder how this will affect her speech, looks, social activities, etc.
How long will she have to eat out of a straw?
When will her teeth be strong enough to bite into a piece of bread?
What happens if they have to extract her teeth now?
How much pain will she be in, and for how long?
I think we did good, as her parents, but I think it’s fair to say were were terrified.
That’s where the emergency room staff came in. I had never had such a positive experience before. The wait to get help was very short and every person we talked with was very kind, patient, professional, and even somehow soothing.
I was thinking about how we were terrified, but we had people to “hold our hand” through the ordeal, and help us know that this would be fixed, and she would be back to normal, and it would be okay.
That’s exactly what many job seekers need.
In my job search I needed someone who could almost take control, let me see there were answers and processes and tools, show me I wasn’t alone and this wasn’t unprecedented.
Just knowing we were surrounded by professionals and tools in the right environment to get the problem resolved eased our terror.
How can job seekers find solace in the tools, environment and friends they have? It should be there, or close – perhaps just look a little harder?
How can career professionals help? Don’t forget that even though you’ve helped people through this process a million times, this might be the first, most terrifying experience for your new client.
How can friends and family help? Be supportive, validate the feelings, and try and help the job seeker get in the right environment, with the right tools, to help get through this process.
My experience in the ER was one that I don’t want to have to repeat again, but I’m happy to say that in our time of fear and unknown we were set at ease by the environment and people.
Please, help job seekers get in the right environment, and surrounded by the right people, and equipped with the right job search tools.