Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Brother Needs to Get Motivated to Work

DEAR HARRIETTE: My brother has been out of work for about six months now. He never had a great job, but he was always employed up until recently, when his company went out of business and everybody got laid off. Instead of looking for work, he seems to be moping around feeling sorry for himself. He lives with my parents, so he doesn’t have to worry about a roof over his head, and I think that is contributing to the problem. He doesn’t seem to have a sense of urgency about his situation.

I’m worried that my brother will stay in this situation too long and find it impossible to get a new job. How can I help him to wake up and be more proactive? -- Turning the Corner, Philadelphia

DEAR TURNING THE CORNER: It is easy to sink into a depression when you are out of work. That may be what has happened to your brother. Talk to him. Tell him that you are concerned about him and that you want to support him as he gets back on his feet. Talk to him about what type of work he wants to do. Look up job opportunities online in categories where he has either experience or skill. Suggest that he go to the local chamber of commerce to inquire about jobs. Urge him on. Your insistence may be annoying, but it may also help to get him focused again.

(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)

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