Dear Amy: I am an immigrant. I moved to the United States as a bachelor more than 20 years ago. I have several friends in the same stage of life when we all moved to the U.S.

We developed great relationships and, over the years, settled into a group of eight families. We routinely get together for weekend gatherings, holidays, etc.

I know if I need help in the middle of the night, I can count on the other seven to help out.

Three months ago, I lost my job and started the search for a new one. All the other families have at least one person in my same profession.

When this happened, I called each of my pals personally, explained the situation and asked them to look out for opportunities.

Except for one individual, the response has been abysmal and hurtful. Not only are they not sending me any leads, but when we meet, there is no mention of my job search.

While I can sustain for a few months, with every passing day the situation is becoming more stressful.

What am I supposed to do? Should I confront them directly? Our kids would be heartbroken if I cut them off totally, but should I? Or should I just consider them friends for small emergencies, but not larger ones?

 

Amy says: Unfortunately, people sometimes respond to personal needs (employment, financial or health problems) by hiding. The reason for this likely has nothing to do with you, but more to do with the feelings and insecurities called up by your situation. Women have been socialized to use the power of the group to solve all sorts of individual needs. Men might not be quite so comfortable leaning in.

Networking is essential to finding midcareer employment. You should definitely ask (not “confront”) your pals again. You might send a group e-mail: “Hi, Guys — I’m still engaged in my job search and am looking for leads. I’m calling on the group to see if we could put our heads together and network. Any leads would be helpful. I’d really appreciate brainstorming with all of you and wonder if we could get together for a session, maybe Saturday morning for coffee? Any and all ideas would be welcome. Thank you for being supportive friends over the years. I’d be very grateful for your feedback and ideas.”

Also, make sure to network outside this circle. Look for business networking events in your area. And if you don’t find a networking group, use social media to start one!

Wedding causing resentments

Dear Amy: Several months ago, we gladly accepted a “Save the Date” to a cousin’s wedding, located in a city we were looking forward to seeing for the first time. We decided to plan a multiday visit to the city.

As it turns out, we are not invited to the rehearsal dinner, and there are no get-togethers planned for out-of-town guests. The wedding venue is a substantial distance from the city.

This is beginning to feel like a burden, and I am torn between the large expenditure of a weeklong trip whose main purpose was a family celebration, or sparing myself the mounting resentment and sending a large check or gift instead.

Family is important to us and no one’s under any obligation to entertain us. It just feels like this is not a good choice in any direction.

I’d love feedback.

 

Amy says: “Mounting resentment” is not the ideal emotion to feel in anticipation of a family wedding. Yes, you are correct that the couple are under no obligation to entertain you. It sounds as if you should respond with your “regrets,” understanding that you might kick yourself later.

 

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