Arlene’s Story: Reentering the Workforce with the Lord’s Help
After 12 years as a stay-at-home mom, Arlene felt the need to return to the workforce. She had bachelor’s degrees in biology and secondary education, but because she had started her family shortly after graduating, she didn’t have much professional classroom experience. She began applying for education-related jobs in her area, but had little response.
That’s when a friend told her about LDS Employment Resource Services, which could provide professional coaching to help her get a job. Because she lived over an hour from the nearest Employment Center, a missionary at the center gave her résumé coaching over the phone. Arlene learned how to present her skills in a powerful and concise way so that potential employers could easily recognize her qualifications.
Once she had a newly revised résumé, she submitted it online as the local school district requested and also hand delivered a copy to each of the schools she was applying to. Prior to her first interview, she met with an employment center career adviser to prepare. They discussed the types of questions she might be asked, refined her answers to highlight her qualifications, and talked about how to dress professionally. Through mock interviews, she practiced her answers and recognized some of her nervous mannerisms that might distract the interviewer. With the extra preparation and practice, her interview was a success, and she was hired as an assistant teacher for a math class.
After months of showing her willingness to take on difficult tasks, a position opened in the Spanish department of her school. Thanks to her hard work and her native Spanish-speaking ability, she got the job. But her work wasn’t over with the job offer: she still needed to get the required state certification before the beginning of the school year. With the support of the school’s administration and the help of a development counselor at LDS Employment Resource Services, she was able to complete the courses and exams that were necessary to get her local teaching certification on time.
Throughout her experience of reentering the workforce, Arlene felt the help and support of the Savior. Even though the process was often stressful and difficult, she felt repeated reassurance that she was where she needed to be. She feels blessed not only to have a job, but also to be working for a school close to her home so that she can maximize her time with her children.
“Heavenly Father loves us, and He wants us to feel like we’re succeeding,” Arlene says. “It’s hard, especially if you don’t have a job or you’re just starting to look for a job, and all these people have been teaching for twenty years or more. But you can do it. I realized the Lord will magnify me.”