Dirk's Story: Answering Prayers

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Dirk’s employment history is a testament to his flexibility. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in political science, Dirk began his career working in the hotel industry in Utah. Later he and his family relocated to Virginia after he received a job with a staffing company. A few years later his family returned to Utah, where he worked as a supervisor for a manufacturing business.

Dirk worked for the company for a few years before they decided they had employed too many supervisors and laid several off—including Dirk.

“I knew that I was going to be laid off sometime that year, but I expected to at least be working through the summer,” Dirk said. “It had only been two years since my last job search, and at first I thought that I would find new employment quickly. I figured it wouldn’t take me long, but it started taking longer and longer.”

Dirk used the outplacement service provided by his company and began sending out résumés. But after a few months, he had not received any interview offers, and his bishop suggested that he visit the employment resource center.

Dirk attended the Career Workshop in August, and within a month became actively involved in various networking groups, attending groups in Layton, Centerville, and Ogden on a weekly basis.

“It was in the networking groups that I really decided to change my focus, because up until that point, I was still looking for employment in production management,” Dirk said. “But as I tried to transition my skills to other industries, I got a lot of leads from the networking groups and started having more success in the job search.”

Along with regularly participating in networking groups, Dirk also began volunteering at the Ogden Employment Resource Center once a week, helping others with their job search.

“A couple of the volunteers and I used to joke that we were very good at finding other people jobs, but couldn’t find ourselves one,” Dirk said. “Volunteering at the employment center helped me to stay positive and remember how blessed I am.”

One day, Dirk was assisting a man who came to the Centerville networking group. A few weeks later, the man returned to share the news that he had been hired for a job and was working for a local college. Dirk asked if he knew of any additional openings, and the man explained that there was a position available in career services at the Layton campus. Dirk gave the man a copy of his résumé, and within a few weeks, the president of the campus interviewed him for the position.

“The president decided I wasn’t right for that job, but within a few days she contacted the Dean of Academics and told him, ‘I think I found your new student services coordinator,’ ” Dirk said. “The dean interviewed me, and during the hour-long interview, I only spoke for about 10 minutes. He really tried to sell the job, and it wasn’t long before I was hired.”

Dirk attributes his success to attending networking groups, where he learned the skills to help him in the job search and also helped him to stay positive.

“The networking groups are not only a resource for finding contacts within companies, but they are really a support group to help each other out and help lift each others’ spirits,” he said.

Along with the networking groups, Dirk recognizes that his job search would not have been the same if he had not volunteered at the Ogden Employment Resource Center.

“The work I do in student services is similar to what I had done in past positions, and it is also similar to the work I did as a volunteer at the employment center,” Dirk said. “Volunteering at the employment center was such a blessing. I learned that the Lord answers our prayers when we try to help answer the prayers of others.”

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