Friends and colleagues who have lost their jobs need to hear from us. But it can be challenging to decide what to say, with job loss having so many sides to it: stress, opportunity, rest, disillusionment, freedom, fear, elation. Or all of the above.
Yes, it’s difficult to know what to say, but we must say something that shows we care.
Here are a 10 examples you can adapt when friends, coworkers, clients, and vendors find that their jobs are gone. Send cards, notes, or emails with messages like these:
I spoke to Julie last night, and she told me you had lost your job. I am sorry to hear that! Knowing how much you enjoyed your job, I am guessing the loss hurts. Please accept my sympathy.
I would enjoy talking to you about what you are planning next. Please give me a call when you are ready.
When I returned from my vacation and saw your office empty, I was surprised and saddened. Please accept my sympathy. I don’t know how you are feeling about leaving, but I do know change is stressful. I hope everything is going well for you.
I will be thinking about you as you go through this transition.
Hi, Sheng. I was sorry to learn that your job was eliminated in the layoff. I know you were hoping to miss that bullet, and I am sorry it hit you.
You are an extremely talented designer, and I hope this layoff will not shake your confidence. If you need a dose of praise and support, give me a call. I will be glad to tell you how terrific you are, any time.
Sweta, I am sorry you lost your job in the recent cuts. It was always a pleasure to work with you, and I will miss seeing you at the Tuesday meetings. You are always positive and professional.
I hope your search for a new position is short and as pleasant as possible!
Hello, Beth. I just received your out-of-office message stating that you have left the company. That is the reason I am using your Comcast address. I don’t know what your situation is, but I wanted to let you know I enjoyed working with you over the past two years.
I wish you much success.
I just heard the sad news! Please accept my condolences. I know how much you wanted to keep that job.
If there is anything I can do to help you land a new position, let me know. I have contacts in the city, and I would be happy to make introductions. Just let me know if you are interested.
Hi, Zuhair. I just heard you were let go, and I wanted to wish you good luck. I know you were expecting the worst, so the situation was not a surprise. Still, it’s a change, and I hope you will get through it well.
I want to stay in touch. I have made a note in my calendar to call you next month.
Rudy told me you left your position last month when the company was sold. I wish you much success in your next endeavor, whatever you choose to do. Your skills are many. You have much to offer your next employer.
Best of luck,
Hi, Fawaz. I just learned you were part of last week’s reduction in force. If there is anything I can do to help you look for a new job, please ask me. I would be happy to recommend you.
I hope you will find a great opportunity that matches your skills.
I am sorry to hear your job was eliminated, and I am hoping this situation turns out to be a wonderful opportunity for you. Although change can be difficult, sometimes changing jobs is the best thing that can happen to us. I trust your future will be bright!
If you email your message, use a subject line such as:
Best of Luck to You, Renee
Wishing You All the Best
Goodbye and Good Luck, Mark!
Sympathy on Your Job Loss
Kendra, Let’s Stay in Touch
Good Luck in Your Job Search
Avoid talking too much about the depressed economy. That kind of news is everywhere. After all, your friend needs only one job–not an entire economy.
Here is a guide for other, general situations when our friends need us to reach out to them, but where we cannot change things to help. I hope you could use it as an aide to write something meaningful when the time calls for it.