Laid Off

What to Say to Someone Who Recently Got Laid Off


Laid OffGetting laid off is an incredibly emotional and stressful time in someone’s life, and having love and support from family and friends is incredibly important.

If you’re not sure what to say to someone who recently got laid off, you’re not alone. It’s a very touchy situation. That’s why we asked our readers what they thought was the most helpful and/or comforting thing to say to someone who recently lost his or her job. Here’s what they said:

“Things Will Work Out”

“Everything happens for a reason.” - Chris

“One door closes another one always opens… you’ll find something.” – Glenn

“It is well, the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh Blessed be the Name of thy Lord.” - Mfon

“You’ll Get Through This”

“Like a cat, you will always land on your feet.” - Sian

“Time to move on to bigger and better things.” - Michelle

“Your talent will make room for you” - Leighsa

“You’re Better Off”

“Hey! They might have done you a huge favor!!” - Ilana

“Their loss.” – Susan

“When a door closes, a window of ‘opportunity’ opens!” - Jonathan

“Take charge!” - Seye

Do you agree with these suggestions? Would they help you? What words would comfort you if you were laid off? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Image Credit: Shutterstock

Ariella Coombs

Ariella is the Content Manager for CAREEREALISM. She graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a B.A. in journalism. Follow her @AriellaCoombs or find her on Google+.


  1. The best I heard from someone after I was laid-off was: If I can help you in any way do NOT hesitate to tell me. And remember, your situation does not define you.

  2. Who is to say that those words of comfort weren’t given to the umemployed person AFTER the person had listened and offered help, those criticizing a persons good intentions just make themselves sound very bitter.

    • Those words of “comfort” are empty and meaningless whether they are the only words said or come at the end of conversation. Besides, most people do not listen and offer help when finding out someone was laid off.

      I’ve experienced unemployment, under-employment and sudden widowhood. Trust me Leighsa, most people only say empty meaningless words and are not willing to do anything.

      Michele | Expert on Empty Meaningless Words

  3. I was laid off twice during the period of 20 months. The thing that helped me most were people who had the courage to listen more than talk.

  4. I agree, I was laid off, and I wouldn’t have wanted to hear any of this junk. Better would be, “I’m so sorry. Do you want to talk? Is there anything I can do to help?” and a big hug. Also, a plan to get together and brainstorm, or just to talk. Sometimes we just need to talk things out. And the worst is hearing, ‘so how is the job search going?’ every time I see you. It puts pressure on me, and I’ve put enough on myself already. A better approach would be to ask if I want to talk about the job search. Because really, I know you’re going to ask me about the job search, and it would be better if you asked IF I want to talk about it rather than how it’s going. Don’t get me wrong, I certainly appreciate everyone’s concern so much, but there are better ways to approach it than platitudes. Just be my friend.

  5. How about, “I’m terribly sorry, you must feel awful! What can I do to help you find another job? Let’s get together over coffee and talk about what’s next for you! I’ve got some ideas for someone with your talent and capabilities…”

  6. I think the question should have been posed to unemployed people. These responses are totally inappropriate. I would say they are the type of responses I’ve heard from folks who have never experienced a layoff/downsizing/position elimination.

    As Michele offered, a more caring response would be all the lines of: “I’m so sorry to hear that. What can I do to help. What fields are you looking at, maybe I know someone who may be able to offer some help.”

    Loss of a job is just that, a loss, and it should be responded to as a loss. Help the individual through their grief, back to normalcy. Be a friend to them.

    • Sorry, Matt, but I was unemployed a couple times in my career and I disagree that you think these responses are inappropriate. Try not to generalize when people share their perspectives.

      I do agree that in addition to sharing those comments, one extends a helping hand in any capacity they can. And if they are a true friend, provide some honest feedback on how they can grow from the experience and become even more marketable.

  7. All of the above are awful sayings. Instead say “What can I do to help you through this difficult time?” or better yet “Let me tell you about this wonderful website”

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