How to Help With a Client’s Job Loss

Advisor Perspectives welcomes guest contributions. The views presented here do not necessarily represent those of Advisor Perspectives.

If you lose your job, what emotional and professional support should you expect from your financial planner?

Ideally, the planner’s first response would be, “Tell me more about what you’re experiencing. How can I best support you in this moment?” Since every client’s situation is different, there’s no way an advisor can know what you might feel, need, or want. If they say, “You must be feeling scared,” for example, you might take their assumption as reality instead of sharing what you do feel – which might be anger, sadness, relief, or something else.

You might be too overwhelmed to even know what you feel or how to talk about it. Even then, the advisor’s role is to listen without giving advice, interrupting, minimizing your feelings, assuring you things will be okay, or talking about someone else’s job loss experience.

The advisor needs to “be” with you for as long as that is needed, waiting for the appropriate time to ask what information you need or if you would like some feedback. If the planner launches into detailed data and logic before you’re ready to take it in, ask them to wait or slow down so they won’t have to repeat themselves later.