When someone close to us faces the turbulence of career dissatisfaction or unemployment, we often find ourselves at a crossroads of wanting to help but not knowing quite how. Today, I peel back the layers of this nuanced challenge, sharing my story alongside lessons from my community to illuminate the art of support without the weight of added pressure.
I'll share the personal story of my husband's layoff journey and how we navigated that time in our lives with one powerful question.
We all want our loved ones to succeed and thrive and I'll help you help them do that in this episode.
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Your career is going great. You're doing fulfilling work, loving your day-to-day and probably making great money. Everything in your professional world is going really well, but there's someone you love be it a spouse, family member or significant other who doesn't love their job like you do, or maybe they're currently unemployed. What can you do to help them? I've been on both sides of this scenario and some of you might be experiencing this as well. In this episode, I'm going to help you by sharing one valuable question. You can ask that loved one so you will know how to show up for them and give them what they need so they can find that job they'll love. Let's get started. Hello, my friends, this is the Mid-Career GPS Podcast. I'm your host, john Neral. I help mid-career professionals find a job they love, or love the job they have, using my proven four-step formula. I want to give a shout-out to my email community for inspiring this episode today. Towards the end of last year, I surveyed them about what topics were of interest to them and this one came up a little more than once. I want to honor that and share this information with them today. But you might be listening to that and wondering well, hey, john, how do I get on your email list? Well, there's a few ways of doing it. The easiest way is simply go to my website at JohnNerrellcom and download one of the free resources that are there. You'll automatically be enrolled into my email list and I email different leadership and career tips and guidance every single week to help you build your mid-career GPS. It's totally free. It's not spam. Go to my website, johnnerrellcom, and come on into my email community. I'd be honored to have you there. As I shared in the introduction, I've been on both sides of this story. I have been the person who has been miserable in his job and really frustrated, trying to figure how I was going to get out of that situation. I've also been the loving and supportive spouse, helping someone navigate through their layoff and their tumult in getting to a place where they're going to find the job that they love. If you're listening to this and you have someone in your life who you want more for them, you want better for them, you want them to have that job satisfaction and be really excited about getting to go to work every day. I want to tell you this story, as I've shared before. My husband and I have been together for over 15 years. We've been married for over seven. My husband's career path has always been very I'm going to use the word stable. It's been very progressive from one job into the next. He's always been very, very clear about the moves that he was making. An opportunity came up several, several years ago. I want to say probably about eight or nine years ago. It was an opportunity for him where he essentially was approached by a big organization and they said we'd love for you to come work for us. It checked the boxes for everything that he wanted in his career at that time so made the decision. He took the job. A little over a year after being in that role, the company went through some business changes and 5 percent of the workforce was laid off and he was part of that 5 percent. For the first time in his life he found himself unemployed. I remember going into work and a dear, dear friend of mine who had the office next door to mine. She and I had actually worked. This was the third job we had worked together. I worked with her when I was working at DC Public Schools and then I brought her to the next place where I was working and then I moved and went to another organization and then I brought her over there as well. We were close and I walked into our office one day and I told her what had happened. She said you have a few minutes. I said, yes, she goes, you need to sit, it's okay. And Heidi looks at me and she goes. I'm going to tell you something. She goes you are going to be the most amazing husband you can be. You are not going to nag, you are not going to pressure. You are going to let him work through all of the things he needs to work through about what just happened, and if he needs to lay on the couch and Netflix and chill all day, you are going to let him do that and not say a word. Do you understand me? Yes, heidi, I understand you. She had shared with me that this was advice she found to be particularly helpful as she navigated her situations and everything. But what I took away from it was this was his journey, this was his experience to work through and in some ways, that was really easy for me to follow. Where it was difficult for me was sometimes coming home and wanting to vent about something that happened at work and thinking I should just really be thankful I have a job and I shouldn't complain about this job because he doesn't have one. I want to offer you that they're both independent events, and one of the things I learned from it was that he was willing to listen to what was going on in my work life, because it made him want to get back into that environment even more, and so, as he was navigating and figuring out what those moves were going to be, a lot of the things that you are all doing right now he was doing. He was applying for jobs online, he was in networking, he was having conversations, he was able to secure some consulting work, and all of those things that he was doing during that time was building his mid-career GPS to what was going to be next. But there was one question that I remember being told and I remember asking him, and it was an absolute game changer because, see, we have a rule in our house which is we don't coach each other unless asked. We never coach unsolicited, and that is a really important part of our relationship, because I coach all day long. He's my husband, I don't need to coach him. He has a coach, all right. I don't need to be that person for him, but when he was going through that time in his career and he would start talking about stuff, these in particular want to fix things. We just want to get to the solution and be done with it. If you have a guy in your life be it a husband, boyfriend, partner, brother and you see that they just always want to go and fix the solution, you need to be doing this and that's it. And, by the way, don't point at me when you do that. That really triggers me. You tell me I need to do something and you point at me with that. Well, we go have an issue. So, anyway, you need to be able to figure out, okay, how do you want to show up. So here's the question when somebody comes to you and they're talking to you, rather than figuring out how you think you should show up, you're going to ask them. And here's the question Do you need me to hear you help you or hug you? Say it again Do you need me to hear you help you or hug you? Notice, I didn't say want. This is about them. This is about them getting what they need in this moment. And so you're asking them what they need. Do you need me to hear you, help you or hug you. So if they need you to hear you, you are simply going to listen. That's it. You're gonna listen, hold space for them. Let them vent, cry, be angry, whatever it is, you're just there to hear them. If they need you to help them, they might have some questions, they may ask you for advice, and sometimes they just need a hug. They just need to know that you're there for them and in their corner and unconditionally loving them and supporting them. They just need that hug and that's it. Do you need me to hear you, help you or hug you? When you love someone, we know we never want to see them in pain or suffer. We want to make life for them as perfect as it can be, and it's an impossible task. But when you show up from that place and you say to them okay, do you need me to hear you, help you or hug you, they'll tell you and you honor their request by giving them that. If they need you to hear them, the last thing they're gonna wanna hear and it will end up in an uncomfortable evening is if you say to them yeah, I hear you, but if you just did this. That's not what they need. They didn't ask for that. The other thing I will offer you is you need to have someone outside of that loved one that you can talk to as well. Who can you go to to share your frustrations or your concerns, or be that sounding board for you to help you show up even better. We all have these things that we buffer, what takes up our time. We may scroll on social media, stream certain shows, watch TV, listen to music, play video games whatever that is. I never realized how important that buffering can be for someone in a career transition to help them get to the next step. Now, I'm not saying they need to be doing it for a year. That's not my point but you and I both know there are times when you have days and I'm going to give a shout out to a dear friend of mine who has this phenomenal phrase she's like I need to take a knee today. Sometimes we need to take a knee and we do not shame or blame ourselves for taking that knee, because that's what we need. I just want to offer you to show up for your loved one and give them what they need. Be there for them. They're going to figure it out. They're going to get where they want to be and when that happens, you're going to celebrate it. So think about this. If you have someone in your life, I want to challenge you to ask them that question Do you need me to hear you, help you or hug you? And even if they look at you and go, what the hell kind of question is that? I said no. No, I just want to know what you need from me right now. Do you need me to listen? Do you need me to give some advice? Do you just need a hug? Let them tell you. They will love you so much more because of it. And when you make those agreements and they tell you what they need, you now know how to play the game. You don't have to walk on eggshells or be tentative about what to do, because they've told you exactly what they need. You can now move freely because you have that agreement, and asking that question is important and necessary to give them exactly what they need in the moment. All right, if you enjoyed this episode, if this was helpful in any way, shape or form, I would be truly grateful if you would share this episode with them. Send them the link to the podcast, ask them to follow or subscribe, tell them two episodes a week. We got great content coming out. Thank you so very much for letting me share this space with you and be the supportive, loving person you are for that loved one in your life. So until next time my friends remember this you will build your mid-career GPS one mile or one step at a time, and how you show up matters. Make it a great rest of your day. Thank you for listening to the Mid-Career GPS Podcast. Make sure to follow on your favorite listening platform and, if you have a moment, I'd love to hear your comments on Apple Podcasts. Visit JohnNarrowcom for more information about how I can help you build your mid-career GPS or how I can help you and your organization with your next workshop or public speaking event. Don't forget to connect with me on LinkedIn and follow me on social at JohnNarrowCoaching. I look forward to being back with you next week. Until then, take care and remember how we show up matters.