Orange coffee cupYour loved one is on the search for a job. Unless they're one of the lucky ones, job hunting can take weeks, sometimes months. How can you be there for them through this long and demanding journey? We have some tips on how to provide your friends or family with valuable support.

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How Can You Help Support a Friend Through a Job Search?

Sep 23, 2021

Orange coffee cupIf someone close to you is currently searching for a job, you may want to help. But what can you do? Once your friend has decided that they want to work and, if necessary, prepared for it with training or education, it's likely the next step will be looking for work. Here are some ways you can be a valued support to a friend.

Offer Encouragement and Understanding

Because the job search process is so personal, not everyone needs the same kind of support. Some people only need you to listen as they vent their frustration. Others may want to bounce ideas off you as you act as a sounding board. Still others may want to discuss their long-term goals. You can provide encouragement and talk about your own experiences to let them know that they're not alone. If asked, you can certainly offer advice, but they may just need understanding and support.

Provide Networking and Hands-on Support

If they do ask for some advice, there are a variety of ways you can help. Discuss their challenges and what they may need. Help with the smallest task can make a big difference in their search. For example, you can:

  • Expand their network. Connect them with recruiters, job openings or job fairs.
  • Help them polish their professional presence. Review their resume. Help them create professional profiles on networking sites. Brainstorm different skills they have that apply to the workforce.
  • Help with interview preparation. Rehearse interview questions and answers. Help select appropriate interview outfits. Test equipment connections in advance of virtual interviews.
  • Become involved in their search. Provide transportation to an interview. Offer to be a reference. Remember, a relative may not be allowed to provide a reference.

Know When to Suggest a Break

Job searches can be both mentally and emotionally taxing. Sometimes people get so caught up in their job search they forget to relax or spend time with friends and family. Invite them to go for a walk, get a cup of coffee or another fun activity. Keep the conversation light to try to take their mind off their job situation. A little break could make all the difference.

Ticket to Work Can Help

Social Security's Ticket to Work (Ticket) Program supports career development for people ages 18 through 64 who receive Social Security disability benefits (SSDI/SSI) and want to work. The Ticket Program is free and voluntary. It connects people with free employment services to help them decide if working is the right choice, prepare for work, find a job or be successful while they're working.

If your friend qualifies for the Ticket Program, encourage them to learn how the Ticket Program can assist them in their search. Here are a few steps they can take:

  1. Learn more about the Ticket Program through these self-paced Ticket to Work Tutorials.
  2. Read our Frequently Asked Questionsabout the Ticket Program.
  3. Sign up for a free WISE Webinar to learn more about the Ticket Program and other Work Incentives.
  4. Learn more about Social Security Work Incentives.
  5. View success storiesof beneficiaries who have used the Ticket Program to improve their lives and achieve financial independence.
  6. Call the Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. Ask a representative to send you a list of service providers or find providers on your own with the Ticket Program Find Help tool.

    Call the Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. Ask a representative to send you a list of service providers or find providers on your own with the Ticket Program Find Help tool.

  7. Opt in to receive information via text about the Ticket Program by texting the word "TICKET" to 474747. You can opt out at any time.

    Opt in to receive information via text about the Ticket Program by texting the word "TICKET" to 474747. You can opt out at any time.

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  Opt in to receive information about the Ticket program via text. Text the word "TICKET" to 474747