If you have been unemployed for a while, you know how this question can make you cringe whether you hear it from family, friends, acquaintances, or former co-workers.
To me, that question seems equally as insensitive as asking:
- When are you getting married?
- When are you going to have children?
- Are you dating anyone now that your divorce is final?
- Now that your pet is gone, are you going replace it?
People may ask these questions out of true concern, but they just don’t understand that they can really hurt. Doesn’t it make sense that if someone found a job he or she would tell you right away? But those with jobs just don’t seem to get it and persist upon asking this question every time they see you.
My advice – please don’t ask an unemployed person that question, it’s tactless. Instead, ask something non-committal, like, “How are you doing?”
If someone does ask you the did-you-find-a-job-yet question, how should you respond? One woman came up with a brilliant idea. She designed several T-shirts with the sayings “No, I haven’t found a job, yet” on the front and “When I find one, I’ll let you know” on the back.
Some say you should tell the person who asks this question “I’m working on it,” but don’t provide any additional details. Others say you should ask the person a question, such as, “Why do you want to know?” Still others say the best response is to remain silent and change the subject.
If you really want to ask an unemployed professional a question, try this one “Is there anything I can I do to help you find a job in your field?”