How to write a letter to a friend who lost a job

Updated April 17, 2017

Losing a job, whether by firing or a layoff, is a major life transition that can cause the person losing his job to feel depressed, scared and unsuccessful. Writing a letter to a friend who has lost his job allows you to sympathise with your friend and provide encouragement and support without being aggressive or overly intrusive.

Acknowledge that your friend has become unemployed and affirm to your friend that he can rely on your support. Losing a job may lead your friend to feel unsuccessful; refer to specific examples of his educational, training and/or workplace successes to remind him that he is not only a qualified, but a valuable employee. If your friend was your co-worker, tell him how much you enjoyed working with him and which personal attributes you will miss most. Express your sympathy.

Share any unemployment experiences you have gone through. Your friend may be worried or have anxiety about finding another job. She may find comfort in knowing that other people have been through a similar event and that things will work out for the better. Offer any tips on finances (for example, saving money or how to collect unemployment benefits) that you may have learnt during unemployment.

Offer help. Assistance can come in many forms. If you are financially capable of lending money to your friend while he is not working, and feel comfortable doing so, let him know he can call on you if necessary. Volunteer to brainstorm job ideas with your friend and to peruse employment classified advertisements. Offer practical support such as serving as a reference or making introductions to your business contacts.

Tell your friend that you are available to talk at her leisure. Your friend may need space and time to absorb losing her job on her own terms. Refrain from contacting your friend to get periodic updates on her job search. Doing so can add to the negative emotions she is already feeling, creating additional stress. Trust that if she wants to take you up on your offer to help, she will contact you. If you do, however, notice that your friend is isolating herself from friends and family, gently attempt to intervene and encourage her to keep the other areas of her life as normal as possible.


Refrain from offering unsolicited advice. This can aggravate your friend and cause him to isolate himself from you and others.

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About the Author

Robyn Lynne Schechter is a freelance writer currently living in Los Angeles, Calif. She has been an online contributor since 2007 on, covering branding developments in the fashion, music, sports and entertainment industries. Schechter graduated from Hood College with a Bachelor of Arts in political science and is also a graduate of Albany Law School.