Talking to a colleague is never easy. The two of you are not college buddies who have shared a lot of memories together. You really cannot talk about your family or issues pertaining to your boyfriend or girlfriend with them. Neither are the two of you complete strangers.
At the end of the day, you end up spending about one-third of your waking hours in their company. Hence, come to think of it, the range of topics that the two of you can talk over is pretty restricted. This makes it difficult for either of you to strike a conversation with the other person out of the blue.
The situation aggravates itself when your colleague has just been fired by your boss. This company was the only link that the two of you shared and now even that is lost. It is natural that you will be at a loss for words and not know how to console them. At the same time, leaving your colleague to themself at this hour of need is probably one of the worst things that you can do.
To help you sail through this difficult situation, we have brought forward a list of safe things that you can tell such a colleague, things that will surely help them find solace in this difficult phase of life.
Talk About People Who Succeeded Despite Being Fired
All of us know that Walt Disney was fired from a job because his boss claimed that he was not creative enough. Publishers felt that the writings of J. K. Rowling were not good enough to be published. Yet these people made it big in their respective careers.
Your colleague who has been just fired may not recall these things. Make sure you point out that a mere bend in the road is not the end of the road if we can make a successful turn.
Lend A Patient Ear
If a person has just lost their job, chances are that they might not want to open up in front of their friends. Ego issues might pop up here. Family isn't the right option either. This is because their family has hopes and expectations and they might not want to share all their insecurities with them.
Hence, you are the right person they can vent out to. Make sure that you are there to listen if at all they need to vent out.
Do Not Give Unsolicited Advice
We understand that you might be having your colleague's best interest in mind. But at the point when they have just been fired, they may not be ready to take up your advice. Hence you saying, ‘you should do this,' will only hurt them and make things more difficult for them.
Hence, make sure that you do not do anything like that. What they should or should not do with their life is something you have no right to comment over.
Offer Monetary Help If Needed
For a person who has just lost their job, the primary concern may be how to go about paying the bills. You can ease their problem by offering financial help. If you feel that you yourself are not in a position to help your colleague monetarily, what you can do is to direct them to a person who will be able to help. This small gesture on your part will go a long way in showing your character.
Say Nothing But Stick Around
If you are still at a loss about what you can tell them, best thing that you can do is stick around yet say nothing. That way the person will know that they have someone to lean on and you will not be crossing your professional boundaries either.
Remember, it is much better to actually be there for someone in their hard times rather than promising the same verbally.
Send Out Job Referral
If you know somebody who can refer them for a job position that is similar to the one that the person held in your firm, try to be proactive in getting your fired colleague the referral. This small act of courtesy on your part may actually change the life of a person on multiple levels (physically, emotionally and mentally).
Trust us, when the time comes, this person will return this grand favour. Hence, do not hesitate to help if there is someone you know or someone who you think might know.
Don’t Joke About The Situation
In some cases it may appear that your colleague has taken the firing very well and is dealing with it in a light manner. They might even re-emphasise the importance of being laid off to you. Remember all that they are doing here is reassuring themselves that things are going to be alright.
Listen to all such talks and merely nod your head. Do not make the mistake of taking things lightly yourself. They will not like it. Joking or making fun of their situation is also a strict no-no.
Keep The Conversations Focused On Your Colleague Who Has Just Been Laid Off
As human beings it is a natural tendency for us to try to be the centre of attraction all the time. It is important for you to realise that this just isn't the time for the same. Hence, do not try to talk much about yourself. You never know which aspect of your personal or professional life might actually trigger the realisation in them that they do not have the job that you do and they might not be able to afford what you are doing.
In this regard, the safest thing that you can do is to ensure that your colleague is the centre of all conversations that you have.