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One of the wisest coping strategies in tough times is to be as helpful as you can to others.
Maxine found herself in the painful position of having to lay off three of her subordinates. She hated doing it, but the company’s revenues were down and they were cutting payroll expenses. She had no choice in the matter.
One thing she could do, however, was help her subordinates find jobs.
In addition to giving them great references, she called people she knew in the industry and asked if they would meet with the people she had to let go. She coached them on interviewing skills, reviewed their resumes and suggested improvements. She gave them pep talks and continued helping them after they left the company.
Every one of them found a good job quickly.
Within a few months, Maxine herself lost her job. As the company continued to struggle, they eliminated her department and transferred its most essential functions to another group.
Among the people Maxine called on for help with her own job hunt were the three people whom she’d helped find jobs. One of them told her he’d heard that a supervisor two levels above him was leaving. Maxine pursued the lead and got an interview before the job was posted. A few weeks later she was hired.
We all need people to be there for us when the going gets rough. One great way to prepare for these inevitable situations is to be there for others when they are struggling.
(The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of St. Louis Public Radio.)