I’ll be in touch…Honest…

As you go through a job transition you’ve probably head this statement dozens if not hundreds of times.  I know I’ve been on both sides of this statement through the years.  When you first start looking for a job, all you ‘friends’ express an interest in helping you and staying in touch with you.  But it’s funny how that circle gets smaller and smaller as the job search grows longer and longer.  The last time I went through this (1997), it was 6-weeks before I got work again.  And, the number of ‘friends’ who stayed in contact went from about 30 to about 2. Was people’s concern just artificial?  Were they expressing it for themselves, or for me?

In the past 3-years, I’ve seen more than 2-dozen co-workers or friends lose their jobs after a minimum of 5 years.  So, these were not short-term employees.  Now, I’m on the other side.  I get to offer the support I didn’t get much of.  And, I’ve attempted to keep in touch with their progress in landing something new.  Obviously, as the operator of a job board, I get plenty of calls. 

I have to admit though, it gets harder to email, call, or see someone who’s job search is never ending.  I want to be sympathetic and supportive.  But, should I really bring up ‘how goes the job search?’  If it was going great, they’d have a job right?  Since they are still looking, it isn’t going well so should you bring up the topic?

I know how I’ve handled these situations, but I’m wondering how would you?  – Ron


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