It can be tough to see a friend struggling and not know what to do to help. You may feel like you’ve tried everything, but he just doesn’t seem to be getting any better. Maybe it’s time to encourage your friend to take some steps towards improving his life and career. Here are six ways that you can help him out!
Do you have a friend who is often complaining about the direction his life and career is taking? Or can you just see from the outside that your buddy could be making better decisions to have a happier existence? Whatever the circumstances, you can help your friend gain a new perspective and take positive steps to improve his life. Here are six ways you can encourage your friend to make better choices and build a better future for himself.
1. Talk about their Goals
Ask your friend what their goals are in life and in their career, and then start a conversation about what it will take to reach those goals. Make sure your friend knows you are there to support him and be a sounding board for his ideas. Ask questions and encourage him to think through solutions to any roadblocks that come up in the conversation.
Some people don’t react well to the direct approach, so if you need a subtler way of having this conversation, talk about someone you know who has set goals and succeeded at them. Or, you can share an inspirational story that you’ve read about how someone achieved the kind of success you think might inspire your friend. You could even talk about yourself, the areas of your life or career you’re not happy with, and what you’re going to do about it. This makes it easier to flip the conversation over to your friend at some point.
2. Discuss Suitable Alternative Careers
Help your friend to explore possible career options that fit their skills and interests. Researching job opportunities, reaching out to companies for informational interviews, or exploring online resources can be great ways to get started.
You could also suggest that your friend take a career assessment test or speak with a professional counselor to get a better understanding of the types of careers that could be a good fit.
Remember, it’s important to help your friend focus on their strengths, rather than the areas where they might need some extra help. However, you should also broach the idea of retraining, and help them see that it’s not as difficult or scary as they might think. Whether plumbing trade school or learning programming skills would be a good fit for your friend, encourage them in the right direction.
3. Suggest Education Options
If you think your friend could benefit from more education or training, suggest that they look into further study options. Many schools offer flexible programs in a range of subject areas, and distance learning is becoming more commonplace.
If your friend is willing to take the plunge and go back to school, offer to help them with application forms or provide moral support during their studies. If you have any contacts in the higher education sector, use them to help your friend get a foot in the door.
4. Support Them Emotionally
Your friend’s emotional well-being is just as important as anything else you can do to help them improve their life. Listen to them when they talk, and let them know you’re there for them no matter what.
Encourage your friend to talk about how they’re feeling, and help them find ways to manage their emotions more positively. Remind them that it’s important to take care of themselves and make time for relaxation and self-care.
Some people are better able to talk about emotions when they’re distracted by something else, so consider a game of pool or doing some yard work together, during which you could discuss deeper subjects.
5. Be an Accountability Partner
Help your friend to stay on track with their plans by offering to be an accountability partner. This could involve meeting up regularly to talk through goals and progress, or just checking in with each other via phone or email.
However you choose to do it, make sure your friend knows you’re available for support and will help keep them accountable for their goals.
Don’t forget to celebrate your friend’s successes and remind them of how far they have come. Your encouragement will go a long way in helping them stay motivated and focused on the future.
6. Offer Practical Assistance
Sometimes, practical help is just as important as emotional support. If your friend needs help with job search applications, creating a resume, or interviewing for a position, offer to help them out.
You could also connect your friend with people in the industry they are interested in, or provide essential contacts or resources that could benefit them.
If your friend is struggling financially, you might be able to offer a loan or start a crowdfunding campaign. You could also provide helpful advice on budgeting and saving, so your friend can get back on their feet more quickly.
Don’t forget that everyone needs help at some point in their lives, so don’t be afraid to reach out to your friends and offer a helping hand. Taking small steps and showing compassion can make all the difference in someone’s journey to find a better career and a brighter future. In the end, your friendship will be even stronger for it. Good luck!