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Stop the Memes!

Please stop the Simplistic Memes

Recently, while watching TV, Mr. Stop Sign saw an ad about helping people with depression The ad was a series of quick vignettes. In each quick scene, a “helpful” person said something to try to cheer up a depressed person.

It’s just a stage; you’ll feel better soon; every cloud has a silver lining; just suck it up; oh, I’ve had it worse, etc.

The commercial ends by saying that people need support, not words.

I don’t know if the ad meant to target job seekers, but it resonated with me. I know how job seeking and career pivots are stressful. Over time, unless we can find support, we inevitably sink into depression. I’ve been there.

In addition to the ad, Mr. Stop Sign recalls having a mild disagreement with another coach who requested that some memes be added to a presentation “to cheer them up” or “to encourage them.”

Really? How is a recirculated meme or quote from a successful person going to help them find a job?

There are many ways to support a depressed job seeker, but in my opinion, among the least helpful are memes that express simple joyful or hopeful sayings. They may make you feel good for supposedly doing something, but they don’t really help the other person.

So, I’m asking a favor of you this month: Stop doing this. Just for this month, perhaps. Don’t forward, share, or distribute any memes that are essentially useless because they don’t really support the job seeker.

Instead of a meme---Offer to listen. Offer advice if requested. Be there for them. Maybe even buy them lunch and listen to them during the lunch. Maybe volunteer with social services group or offer to be a job buddy.

Just don’t offer simplistic memes that do nothing for them.

The holidays are especially stressful for unemployed people, the LTU (long-term unemployed), and others who face challenges. It’s important that they find true support. Please try to offer that support. Don’t just say something; do something.

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