After unexpectedly losing his job of 25 years, Doug found himself a little lost and overwhelmed. “What now? Where do I begin to find new employment?” Would Doug be able to find work that aligned with his skills, provided the income he needed, and was personally and professionally rewarding? Doug’s resume writing, networking, and interviewing skills were out-of-practice and needed a refresher. He also needed support, encouragement, and the help of the Lord.
A few days after he was let go, Doug joined a morning Active Job Search group. This daily virtual networking group offered through Employment Services connected Doug to other job seekers and Employment Services missionaries.
Here Doug began each day hearing a spiritual message and received the help he needed to build a re-employment plan.
As a group member, Doug was also able to hone his networking skills and receive helpful tips on improving his job search. Employment Services missionaries coached Doug as he prepared for employment interviews by conducting mock interviews and providing valuable feedback.
Doug supplemented his Active Job Search group experience by joining a Find a Better Job self-reliance group available in a neighboring stake. This self-reliance group helped Doug recognize additional ways he could improve his resume, giving him confidence to use his new and improved resume to apply for jobs. The self-reliance group also provided Doug with an additional network of support and accountability.
One of the most important principles Doug learned from his job search experience was what it meant to both seek the Lord’s help and to minister to others during his job search. The Spirit taught him what real ministering could be by giving him small, simple promptings to help others, during a period when he was focused primarily on himself. As he served others, the Lord blessed him with small miracles in his job search.
This revelatory experience changed Doug’s mindset. Instead of being inward-focused each day on his own challenges, he would start the day first seeking to serve someone else. “I would pray each morning asking God, ‘Who do I need to serve or minister to? How and where?’” Through prayer and mindful listening, Doug received promptings to pick up trash during a morning walk, or to weed a neighbor’s yard. Sometimes, he would stop to talk to the crossing guard, or engage other individuals – even strangers – along his path that day.
It took time and effort, but every day as he sought to follow these promptings to serve others, Doug would be blessed with additional promptings for his own job search. These promptings were sometimes geographic areas to look for work or companies to contact. They also came in the form of ideas on how to improve an interview or when to follow up with an organization. Sometimes the small miracles were when companies responded to his inquiries.
After several months of effort, Doug found new employment. An online seminar on negotiating, available through Employment Services, also gave Doug the skills he needed to successfully negotiate his new salary. But even more importantly, Doug gained new insights about himself and his relationship with God. “I had to trust God that if I served his children, He would then open doors for me, and he did.”
Doug learned not only to utilize the resources from Employment Services, but also how to really involve the Lord in the temporal affairs of his life. He learned how and where to turn for help and now has new tools to use again, if needed. Doug has also encouraged others in the same situation to take advantage of these great Employment Services resources and self-reliance groups.
Doug now has a stronger testimony of ministering, service, and trusting God’s plan for him.
If you or someone you know is looking for new work or to improve their current work situation, consider utilizing the vast resources available online at Employment Services (churchofjesuschrist.org). Also consider reaching out to your stake or ward welfare and self-reliance specialist about joining a Find a Better Job group.