Being a Mentor
As priesthood and Relief Society leaders help members develop a plan, they should share appropriate portions of each plan with the ward council. As needed, mentors or specialists may be assigned by the bishop to work with members in need.
These mentors and specialists are given specific assignments to help individual members complete or carry out their plan for self-reliance.
Role of a Mentor
One of the greatest challenges a job seeker faces is the internal battle of lowered self-esteem, accompanied by despair and a loss of hope.
Unlike a welfare specialist, a mentor is not called or set apart. He or she is typically someone who already has an established relationship with the member in need or somebody with working experience in the member’s field of interest.
As a result of his or her relationship with the member in need, a mentor might possibly be the best person to:
- Instill hope by maintaining frequent contact and providing needed encouragement.
- Help the member explore his or her thoughts and options in a non-threatening and non-judgmental way.
- Ask for more thought, action, and behavior changes than the member would typically ask of him or herself.
- Be a role model by displaying the specific actions and behaviors that are needed to find and keep a job, improve skills and education, or start or improve a business.
- Be a consultant by sharing information about the chosen job industry and companies within that industry or making introductions to influential individuals.
- Be an advocate for the member’s progress and development to members of the ward welfare committee.
Mentoring can take place either face-to-face or by e-mail and telephone.
Following Up with Members in Need
Each mentor or specialist should maintain frequent contact with the member in need. A post-planning, follow-up strategy should be fairly simple:
- Call the member within two days of each assignment’s due date.
- Follow up with each job seeker weekly—in person, by e-mail, or by phone. The longer you take to make contact with the member, the greater the chance of the member forming bad habits that become difficult to break.
Follow up according to needs. Not all job-seeker needs are the same. Prioritize your candidates as follows:
- Those with more pressing financial or emotional needs
- Those who just need more general information, such as a tip sheet
Members with more pressing needs require immediate, more frequent follow-up. This is the time to provide motivation, clarify resources and assignments, or to simply answer questions.
In all follow-up activities, don't assume that the member will take the time to contact you for more information or additional help. Be proactively consistent.
The Career Workshop (item no. 35163) teaches skills related to planning a career and finding employment. As mentors or specialists become familiar with and internalize the principles within the workshop, they will become more successful in helping members in need.
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