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You may have read the article that’s been circulating on social media, about an emotional state called languishing.

It’s that blah feeling that’s become the defining emotion of 2021.

Not flourishing, not depressed. A general feeling of apathy and a lack of motivation. An absence of well-being.

Sound familiar? You’ve encountered it in your clients, your children, your partner or yourself.

It’s normal to experience it, given how the world has changed this past year.

But our job is to motivate our clients to bring about positive, life-improving change.

So how can we work with our clients to achieve this when they’re just waiting for things to change, to finally get better?

Here are a few suggestions to work with a languishing client:

Idea #1: Acknowledge their grief.

Perhaps they were laid off last year from a job they really loved. Maybe they lost someone close to them, or experienced an illness themselves that they might not have fully recovered from. We’re in a different place than we were a year ago, and people are not moving at the same pace that they used to. Try to cultivate patience in yourself so you can offer this emotional space to your clients.

Idea #2: Call out the elephant in the room.

Is your client feeling financially stable due to all the extra stimulus this year? Are they holding out to apply for jobs until the emergency unemployment benefit expires? If so, acknowledge this with them. But then suggest exploring steps they can take now to feel prepared when September comes. And remind them that everyone (and their uncles) will be scrambling for competitive jobs when that time comes, too.

Andrea Gerson
Post by Andrea Gerson
April 22, 2021
Andrea Gerson is a social worker, career coach and workforce technology founder. Over the past 15 years, she's crafted impactful resumes for over 7,500 clients – many of who have gotten hired at organizations like Google, Apple, and the U.N. She's partnered with dozens of non-profit workforce agencies to lead staff trainings on topics like job search strategies, interview preparation and navigating workplace conflict. Andrea brings a strengths-based, client-centered perspective, and her work is an extension of her commitment to addressing the opportunity gap.