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What to Get Your Job Seeker for the Holidays

- Dec 5, 2012

Someone who is looking for work, whether because they just got out of school or because of a layoff, can use a hand. This is a list of what to get them to help them find work and get back on track.

Firstly, we should say, if they need help with food, clothes or rent, that is where you should help out. Some folks are very embarrassed to admit that they need the help, but if you remind them that they would do it for you and that you will look to them for help when you need it, they will probably accept your help. Otherwise, get invited to dinner, offer to bring a dish and back up a truckload of food.

Now to the list of things a job seekers could use:

  1. Interview clothes – Most people don’t have a lot of good dress clothes, unless that was their job, but everyone should wear their “Sunday best” to interviews. Take them shopping for a couple of shirts or blouses and a couple of pairs of slacks or skirts. Dressing the part can make all the difference to feeling the confidence to win the position.
  2. A cell phone – There are lots of companies, like Boost Mobile, that offer cheap phones and “unlimited” plans that have a set price. For $40 to $50 per month for a couple of months, you can give your job seeker an invaluable tool to being right on top of getting the job.
  3. A bus pass or taxi credits –  Not having to worry about how you can get to an interview can make all the difference to saying “yes” to a potential interview. If you live in place with no taxis or buses, track down someone who is reliable to drive them to interviews. Commit to cover their gas and time to take your job seeker to interviews.
  4. Child care gift certificates – In lots of major cities, there are drop-in child care facilities that your job seeker could drop the kids off so they can get to an interview. Buy them some time there so they won’t even have to worry about it when the phone rings.
  5. A “Shop for a job” day – Take a day off from your work and drive them around to apply for jobs. Make it fun though by sponsoring lunch, a short shopping trip for something they might need or want. This is also a great time to pick up clothes or other things on this list. The key here is to help them get over their “stage fright” at applying for jobs.
  6. A resume re-write – For about $50 or so, you can hire a professional to rewrite their resume, print it on good paper and set them up for success. Their resume is their first impression to a potential employer. Help them make it a good one.
  7. A “break out” – For lots of folks, they get stuck in a rut. They might think they can only work in restaurants or at a $100,000 a year job. Take them to a career counselor or an employment agency. They might find that there are people who believe in them and their ability to get outside of their box.
  8. A normal day – When you have been unemployed for a long time, just getting the energy to leave the house can be a lot of work. Take them out for a normal day. It might be a day getting hair and nails done or going to the driving range or a ball game. Get them to talk through their feelings about their situation. Sometimes just clearing out the old emotions can kick start a renewed hopefulness.
  9. A support group – If you are struggling too, this might the perfect time to combine your forces and get things done. If there are kids, have a babysitting exchange. One of you can work first shift while the other watches the kids. Then you trade off and the other person heads off to work. No money changes hands, but it can solve a lot of problems. You can do the same thing with vehicles to work or computers or whatever you need to get some work going.
  10. A hug and a word of encouragement – Sometimes all it takes is for you to walk up and give them a hug and tell them that you understand how hard it can be. Love is the strongest tool in your arsenal to encouraging them. If you have faith in them, they might be able to borrow a bit of it and find some faith in themselves.

Lots of the things you can do are inexpensive or free. All it really requires is that you look at their problems and try to find creative solutions to their concerns. Start from a place of caring and everything else will fall right into place.

Need more ideas or help for your job seeker, contact ACE Employment Services.

If you have other ideas, please feel free to comment below.

Happy Holidays!

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