Addressing Employment Needs Within Your Ward or Stake

A ward or stake employment specialist talking to a member of their ward needing help finding employment.

As a stake or ward leader assigned to help people with employment needs, you do not need to be an expert in the job market. Rather, counsel with your priesthood leaders on how you can best meet member needs and use the following principles to guide you in your ministering efforts. The ‘Available Employment Resources’ section at the bottom of the page contains information and services you can use to help those who are unemployed or underemployed.


Identify Those Who Need Assistance

Work closely with your local Church leaders and councils to identify those who are struggling with unemployment—with Elders Quorum and Relief Society leaders playing a leading role at the ward level. The General Handbook explains, “In a spirit of love and concern, ward leaders and those who serve with them help identify members who may need assistance. It is not enough to assist only when asked” (General Handbook, 22.3.1).

Embarrassment and fear of judgment may prevent some members from receiving help and support. As a result, Church leaders may not be aware of the employment challenges that some members face. Leaders should strive to create an environment in which members feel comfortable sharing personal challenges with leaders and other members, such as ministering brothers and sisters.

Meet with Those in Need

You may want to meet with those who are unemployed or underemployed and learn about their specific needs by:

  • Allowing the individual to guide you by asking, “How can I be of help to you?”
  • Inviting the job seeker to share details about the positions, companies, and industries they are interested in.
  • Learning about the person’s previous work experience, education, and skills and asking for a copy of their resume.
  • Seeking to understand the individual’s career goals and showing genuine interest in their desires.

Show Compassion and Understanding

For some, looking for work can be an isolating and painful experience that affects every aspect of personal and family welfare. The most important thing you can do is show compassion and understanding. Some people may not welcome your help. In those cases, respect their wishes. When someone does share employment challenges with you, some of the best responses may include:

  • “That sounds hard. Thank you for sharing that with me.”
  • “How can I help you?”
  • Pray for guidance to know what to say and do.

Keep in mind that not everyone looking for work is unemployed or struggling. Be sensitive to each person’s situation.

You Don't Have to Be an Expert

You can be helpful to anyone looking for a job by guiding them to the right resources. Start by sharing reliable job search information, including the Church’s employment resources listed under the “Available Employment Resources” and “Self Help Articles” sections at the bottom of the page for help.

Identify Resources that Can Help

The Church’s Employment Services is available for those needing professional assistance finding employment. You may direct people to Employment Services through any of the following options:

Following the principles of the Lord’s Storehouse, work closely with local Church leaders and councils to identify resources that are available to help those in need. You can do this by:

  • Learning the professions, industries, and companies of members in the ward and stake.
  • Identifying members who have specific skills and are willing to:
  • Help with a resume
  • Provide job coaching or career counseling
  • Help with practice interviews
  • Teach computer skills
  • Identifying those willing to:
  • Provide referrals or job leads.
  • Do informational interviews.
  • Share networking contacts.
  • Provide transportation, childcare, or other support.

Prayerfully consider what you can do to magnify your calling as a leader assigned to help people with employment needs. The Church’s Employment Services is available to assist both you and the job seeker. Feel free to call the following phone number to set up a time to visit with a local employment advisor: 888-818-4484.


Available Employment Resources

Employment Services (employment.ChurchofJesusChrist.org)

The Church’s Employment Services offers an array of professional job-search resources, including:

  • Active Job Search Groups: Meet daily to help job seekers refine skills, set goals, and encourage one another.
  • Job-Search Skills Workshops: Daily workshops that teach core employment skills, such as resume-writing, networking, and preparing for interviews.
  • Personalized, one-on-one coaching.
  • Employment centers, where available (click here to find the nearest center).
  • Past and upcoming special topic webinars.
  • Career exploration, for those who aren’t sure what kind of work they want or what they would be good at.

Self Help Articles

“Find a Better Job” 12-Week Self-Reliance Group

 

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