Sheila's Story: Lessons Learned from the Career Workshop

At Self-Reliance Services (LDS Jobs), we'll help you become gainfully employed through education and networking with local companies.

In order to be closer to family, my husband and three-month old baby and I moved from California to Idaho. A short year and a half later, my husband’s job was affected by the recession, and his hours were cut back. To meet our family’s needs, it was apparent that I would need to re-enter the workforce. 

Before marrying and becoming a stay-at-home mother, I had enjoyed a successful career as a compliance officer. But even though I had years of professional work experience, I found my job search to be extremely challenging. I had heard about the LDS employment resource centers, so I decided to visit the Idaho Falls location to see what resources they offered.

Everyone at the center was very kind, and the staff invited me to attend a two-day Career Workshop.

As part of the workshop, one of the exercises was to write down everyone in my network. I struggled to write down just five people. Our instructor then explained that a network could and should include family, extended family, ward and stake members, friends, neighbors, and previous colleagues. It had never occurred to me that everyone I knew was part of my network.

Another amazing thing I learned at the Career Workshop was how important it is to prepare for job interviews. I hadn’t realized I should research as much as possible about a company before an interview. I learned to study what the company does, who the CEO is, the company’s mission statement, what is happening in the industry, and what the company culture is like.

I took the things I learned from attending the Career Workshop and used them in my job search. When I applied for a position at BYU–Idaho in the Career and Academic Advising Office, I researched the position and the department and spoke to someone I knew that worked on campus to learn more about the culture. After having a successful interview, I was hired! I later found out that the research I had done prior to being interviewed was one of the things that made me stand out as a candidate.

My current position as a career and academic advisor gives me the opportunity to share my knowledge with students, including teaching career workshops twice every semester at a local university. It feels great to give back to others. I am so grateful that Heavenly Father directed me to the employment resource center. The knowledge I gained from attending the Career Workshop has truly blessed my life.


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