DEAR HARRIETTE: My sister has been kind of depressed and unmotivated since becoming unemployed. She lost her job at the beginning of the pandemic and has been living off of unemployment checks ever since. This is more than a year and a half of being at home, mainly in her room watching TV and sleeping. I'm younger than she is, so she doesn’t really listen to me when I try to encourage her to get back out there and find a new job. She will go back to her room and shut the door or ignore me when I make suggestions. I love my sister and want her to be happy. She definitely needs to get back to her life. How can I motivate her? -- Trying To Help
DEAR TRYING TO HELP: The good news right now is that there are a lot of jobs available. In fact, in various service industries there are so many job openings that restaurants, retail stores and other service providers can’t work at full capacity because they don’t have the staff. Tell your sister that things have changed since the pandemic first hit. She may be able to find something if she looks again. Sometimes renewed motivation that is all that's needed to inspire someone who has lost confidence due to job loss.
Another important point during this period is to think outside of the box. Your sister’s way of earning a living may not be available right now, for a host of reasons. But it would help her resume if she would try to get a job of some kind, even if it’s temporary. What you can do is encourage her, tell her what you are learning about the job market and suggest that she try again now because things are different these days.