The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, sometimes mistakenly referred to as the Mormon Church, teaches youth the importance of work and self-reliance. For the Strength of Youth, a pamphlet instructing youth about standards and values, teaches: “When you are self-reliant, you use the blessings and abilities God had given you to care for yourself and your family and to find solutions for your own problems” (“Work and Self-Reliance,” For the Strength of Youth). Mormons believe it is very important to work and be self-reliant, and teach children from an early age to be active and work hard. Because Mormons believe in the importance and necessity of work, they have provided employment services for members to assist them in finding work or changing jobs.
When I was in high school, and had a good summer job, I always thought that an employment service was the last place to go, the last resort, in a job search. I was optimistic that I would always be employed if I wanted to be, and didn’t foresee any troubles ever finding a job.
Then I graduated from college. And the economy wasn’t good.
For me, just like for many other recent college grads, the job market outlook wasn’t that great. I quickly came to the conclusion that employment services aren’t a last resort; they’re a valuable resource I need to use.
What LDS Employment Services Offers
Searching for work or suddenly being out of a job can be really stressful and scary. It can be easy to become discouraged and frustrated when job leads don’t work out, or interviews are unsuccessful. It can also be hard to go to others for help. But turning to others for help gives them the opportunity to serve, and provides job seekers with important skills to enable them to have success.
LDS Employment Services has services for job seekers, students, small business owners, professionals, and employers. They offer career workshops for job seekers, helping them to write effective resumes and cover letters, hone their interviewing skills, and increase their professional network. LDS Employment Services has qualified volunteers waiting to assist members in securing employment. The full-time senior Mormon missionaries and part-time Church-service missionaries are professionals, and know what to teach job seekers to they can be successful.
Of the many services offered by LDS Employment Services, the Career Workshop is one that has helped hundreds of people gain the skills and confidence they needed to land a job. At the Career Workshop, trained volunteers teach patrons how to set professional goals based on their talents and skills; how to identify the resources available to help them reach their goals; how to best use those resources to have success with networking, applying, and interviewing; and how to have continued professional success. Patrons all over the world have participated in the Career Workshop, which has given them the skills and confidence to reach their goals. One patron from Magna, Utah, stated after completing the workshop: “I now have an arsenal of pre-decided power statements I can use. It gives me confidence to look at a broader range of jobs.” Another patron from Nairobi, Kenya, relates: “I went to the interview and applied the things that I was taught in the Career Workshop . . . out of 30 people I was the only one who was offered a job” (see www.ldsjobs.org).
LDS Employment Services are not just for people who are entering the workforce or have recently lost a job. The professionals at LDS Employment Services can also assist patrons who are underemployed, wish to change careers or advance professionally, or desire to start their own business. They have helped thousands of people worldwide to have success in their education and careers.
I realized that being self-reliant “does not mean that you must be able to do all things on your own. To be truly self-reliant, you must learn how to work with others and turn to the Lord for His help and strength” (“Work and Self-Reliance,” For the Strength of Youth). Being self-reliant and independent didn’t mean I was an island, and completely on my own as I searched for work; self-reliance also includes turning to the Lord, and being willing to receive guidance and counsel from others.
The resources available through LDS Employment Services are there to be used, not looked at or talked about. Volunteers are eager, able, and willing to help. Turning to them doesn’t mean I am not self-reliant; it means I am more self-reliant because I recognize there are many things I can still learn and improve on, and I am following the guidance and counsel of those who are smarter and more experienced than I.
To learn more about LDS Employment Services or to find a center near you, please visit www.ldsjobs.org.