One out of ten people are unemployed in our country right now (I’m looking for a job, myself!). With the holidays right around the corner, are you wondering what to give to your unemployed friends on a tight budget? Here are some ideas to lift their spirits this Christmas.
- Get them out of the house and moving! Job-seekers spend a lot of time on the computer (looking for jobs, of course!). Why not invite them for a winter walk? Then be prepared for a lot of listening. Some people find it easier to talk about their problems when walking. You’ll be doing their mood a lot of good by getting them walking briskly (which will increase their endorphins) and by listening to their problems (which will reduce their stress level).
- Propose fun and free things to do together. Check out museum exhibits, free concerts, and tree lightings, all of which are abundant around the holidays. Skip the mall, which may remind them of how little they have to spend. Go for a drive and look at Christmas lights. Volunteer. Or spend an afternoon together making Christmas cookies or watching old movies.
- Give the gift of networking. Bring your friend to a holiday event with you and introduce them to people.
- Offer to read their resume. If you have worked together, and it’s appropriate, consider writing a recommendation for them on LinkedIn.
- Agree to exchange modest gifts this year. If you usually exchange gifts, or it’s a relative, set a budget, e.g. not to exceed $10, and honor that.
- Help them with a useful gift. Take their picture of your friend and help them upload it to their LinkedIn and Facebook profiles. Help them design and purchase a set of business contact cards on VistaPrint. Give them a month-at-a-glance calendar to help them keep track of their job interviews.