Getting fired can be a serious blow, mentally and financially. If you have a friend who was recently let go, she's going to need some support. Send a note (preferably with flowers and chocolate) to cheer her up. If you're not sure what to write, think about what you'd like to hear if you were fired. Start with, "It might not feel like it now, but everything is going to be all right."
Acknowledge Her Feelings
Your friend might want to wallow in her misery for a few days before moving on to Plan B. In the card, give your friend permission to express her feelings without forcing a cheerful outlook right away. Say something along the lines, “It’s fine if you want to hide your head and never come out. It’s fine to be terrified about what you’re going to do next. It’s fine to feel so mad that you want to punch your ex-boss in the face.” Write something that shows you understand what she’s going through.
Focus on the Positive
Eventually you’ve got to gently nudge your friend toward the bright side. Help her see that getting fired isn’t the end of the world, even though it feels that way now. Write a few lines in the card that helps her remember all the things she still has going for her. Remind her that she's healthy, beautiful, young, talented, educated, creative, well loved and supported.
Highlight Her Strengths
Your friend might be feeling a bit like a failure since being let go. Use your card to remind her of previous successes, both personally and professionally. Tell her that she’s invaluable to the people in her life and her worth should not be defined by her job or lack of a job. List other struggles your friend has overcome to remind her that she is strong, resourceful and capable.
Look to the Future
Philosopher Napoleon Hill wrote, “Inside every adversity lies the seed of an equivalent or greater benefit.” Tell your friend that losing her job, while painful, might lead to something wonderful. Perhaps this gives her the opportunity to get a well-deserved break, go back to school or refocus certain goals that have gotten off track. Remind her that the best is yet to come.
Let your friend know that you have her back, no matter what. Write, “I’m here for whatever you need.” Whether she needs a jogging partner, a buddy to help chase away her blues with pizza and ice cream, or a babysitter for a few hours while mommy clears her head, assure her you’re willing and able.
Oubria Tronshaw specializes in topics related to parenting and business. She received a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from the Santa Fe University of Art and Design, and a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Chicago State University. She currently teaches English at Harper Community College in the Chicago area.