Surviving Unemployment

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

As companies continue to downsize or close, even ideal employees may find themselves needing to find new employment.

Preparing for the Future

“The economic clouds that have long threatened the world are now fully upon us. . . . As companies continue to downsize or close, even ideal employees may find themselves needing to find new employment. This is an opportunity to rely on the Lord, to grow, and to be strengthened. . . . Express your gratitude in prayer for all that has been given to you. Heavenly Father loves you. His Son has promised, ‘All these things shall give [you] experience, and shall be for [your] good’ (D&C 122:7).” 1

Increase your Faith in the Lord

It is common for job seekers to experience a roller coaster of emotions during times of unemployment. However, when they lack faith in the Lord’s desire and power to bless them, they deliberately decline the blessings they are praying to receive.

The following suggestions will help you turn your faith in Jesus Christ into action:

  • Pay an honest tithe.
  • Seek a priesthood blessing.
  • Organize a family fast, and pray daily.
  • Study your patriarchal blessing.
  • Attend the temple as frequently as possible.
  • Fulfill your calling.
  • Dress each day for an interview, even if you do not have one scheduled. 

Ask for Help in Finding a Job

Studies have shown that job seekers spend most of their time looking for jobs through ads in papers and online. However, most people find jobs through word-of-mouth referrals and contacting companies directly.

The following suggestions will help you find others who can help:

  • Talk regularly with family, friends, acquaintances, and others about your job search.
  • Update your reference list and ensure that your references understand your situation.
  • Seek counsel from your bishop, as well as quorum and Relief Society leaders, home and visiting teachers, and ward or stake employment specialists.
  • Obtain a Bishop’s Authorization for Services form, contact the nearest LDS employment resource center or self-reliance center, and visit
  • Identify and ask someone to be your job coach or mentor.
  • Work 8 hours a day at finding a job, strive to make 10 employment-related contacts and 2 face-to-face meetings or interviews per day, and record your daily activities. 

Live within Your Means

Regardless of your current skills or the employer-paid benefits you might have received from your last job, it is best to prepare for long-term unemployment. Most job searches take longer than expected. Start by identifying ways to increase income and decrease spending.

The following suggestions might help:

Identify Sources for Increasing Income

  • Find temporary employment.
  • File for unemployment and other available government benefits.
  • Start self-employment (for example, music lessons, yard care services, and so on).
  • Sell unnecessary items.

Discover Ways to Decrease Expenses

  • Use public transportation and consolidate errands.
  • Suspend memberships or non-essential utilities, such as additional phone lines or cable television.
  • Request a modified repayment schedule or lower interest rates from creditors.
  • Give handmade gifts or gifts of time rather than purchased gifts.
  • Conserve electricity and gas (for example, raise or lower your thermostat by several degrees depending on the season).
  • Shop with a list and coupons, and supplement shop­ping with food storage.
  • Reduce eating out or purchasing of prepared foods.
  • Mend clothes and make do with what you have.

Seek Additional Training and Skills

Not only do LDS Employment Resource Services and Self-Reliance Centers assist with job placement, but they also provide services and training for career development or small business management.

Each center also maintains a list of available community resources that can help during a job search. Many of these same services are also available through local ward and stake employment specialists or online at

Visit an employment resource center or self-reliance center near you to:

Maintain Your Health and Well-Being

Being physically and mentally fit is crucial during times of unemployment. Stay close to your spouse, children, and extended family members. Health issues and family troubles only lengthen a job search.

The following suggestions will help:

  • Exercise and get proper rest.
  • Follow a proper diet and maintain an appropriate weight.
  • Schedule all medical and dental work before previous employer-provided benefits expire.
  • Check into the availability of group health insurance or community health services.

Printable PDF Version (8.5x11)

Robert D. Hales, “A Gospel Vision of Welfare: Faith in Action,” in Basic Principles of Welfare and Self-Reliance (2009), 1–3.



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