“The Lord’s Employment Service”
Recently I was unemployed for 11 months. During this time, I diligently tried to network and pursue the most promising job leads. Initially, several people I knew who had been to LDS Employment Resource Services shared with me the résumé suggestions and techniques they had learned. I redid my résumé to conform to these suggestions. As the weeks went on, I made changes to my résumé weekly, sometimes even daily, but still I got little or no response. There was always another person willing to tell me how to change my résumé so I could get a job.
One day while discussing the dismal state of things, I had a well-meaning friend say to me, “Well, you must be doing it wrong then, because it shouldn’t be taking this long to find a job.”
After all the work and effort I had put into my job search, those words were devastating. They absolutely deflated me, and I hit rock bottom shortly thereafter. Although I do not usually get depressed, my normally upbeat and positive attitude had a difficult time shining through the clouds that had settled in my life.
Not long after that, my wife came home from working in the temple. Someone there asked her if I had been to the LDS Employment Resource Center yet. The person referred to it as “the Lord’s Employment Service.” When she mentioned this to me, I couldn’t get those words out of my mind. After a couple of days, I decided to go in and start their program, whatever it might be. I committed to myself to do everything that they suggested.
My first stop was in Sister Stovall’s office. She saw me at my absolute worst. As we talked, she made corrections on the résumé I had worked so hard on and asked me what took so long to come in. I sat there fighting back tears the entire time, reminding myself that this was “The Lord’s Employment Service” for me, and that I had committed to follow the center’s guidance.
Sister Stovall got me into the Career Workshop the following week. I learned some very valuable gems, which had I known when I was initially laid off, may have helped me find work sooner. The workshop taught me how to present myself in 30 seconds and properly field questions.
However, the timing of the class was perfect. I was applying for yet another job, but this one matched my abilities and interests perfectly. What I didn’t know was that the class was preparing me for an interview process that would last for the next few weeks.
On the second day of the class, the company contacted me. They asked some of the exact questions that I had practiced responding to in the career workshop, including the same “out-of-the-blue” question that my mock interviewer asked me. Because of the practice I had, I was ready to answer them.
Over the next three weeks, I had four more interviews where I had opportunities to use every technique and suggestion that I learned in the workshop.
Looking back over nearly a year of struggling to find a new job, I have no doubt that the Lord needed to put my family and me through a “refiner’s fire” of sorts, designed just for us. Now that I am again employed, we can see a multitude of blessings that came from that experience. I can also see the tools the Lord used to get me hired, and those were the LDS Employment Resource Center and the Career Workshop. I know that the Lord works with each of us differently. I am better off now because of what I went through, but I can’t help but wonder what paths would have been available for me had I come to “The Lord’s Employment Service” 11 months earlier.