After more than 50 years working in the hospice and healthcare industry, Royella Smith of the Smithfield Utah North Stake was laid off at the beginning of 2023.
Being in her mid-70s, Smith was worried about how potential employers would view her age and career experiences.
As she began looking for a new job across several industries, she accessed community resources but had a prompting to visit the Logan Employment Services Center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Employment Services is provided by the Church as a free resource for anyone to improve their job search, whether or not they are a member of the Church.
With the help of missionaries and career experts, people can be better equipped to find a job at any age or stage in their career. Resources are available in-person at Employment Services centers around the U.S. and Canada or through online coaching.
Smith began working with the Employment Services missionaries and they helped her not only navigate through the job search process, they also changed her perspective as she saw herself through their eyes — and through God’s eyes.
“[The missionaries’] presence was what kept me going. … They never settled,” Smith said. “They always smiled at me and spoke to the benefits of being 76.”
The missionaries started each session with a prayer and invited the Spirit to be in her job search: “It was so empowering to me to work with the Spirit.”
The missionaries assisted in updating her résumé and encouraged her through the process. Smith applied for a job as a social worker based on her experience and degree.
“The Lord had another plan for me,” she said.
After an interview, the employer offered her a job as a chaplain — her “dream job.” Smith had wanted to be a chaplain for 25-plus years, but it had never worked out — until now.
“Bringing the Spirit into my job search was so important. … When I allow God to prevail and be in the driver’s seat, life is a whole lot easier,” she said.
Dave Forsyth’s experience with Employment Services helped him after a layoff as well.
He had been working for 11 years at what he called a great job at an extraordinary company in Salt Lake City. He left to take an even better opportunity with a global bank.
“Three months later, I was included in the first of several rounds of layoffs due to financial troubles they experienced,” Forsyth wrote. “Being in a contract-to-hire role, I didn’t get any severance. After speaking with my family and trying to process this worst-case scenario for a few weeks, I realized I still had value regardless of my position (or whether I even had one).”
Forsyth lived in the same area as someone who worked in Employment Services, who told him about all the free services available.
“I tried them. It dramatically increased the number of interviews and job-hunting skills I had,” Forsyth said.
- Daily virtual group meetings to discuss progress with highly connected industry leaders.
- One-on-one virtual meetings with specialists on LinkedIn profiles and résumé writing.
- Virtual calls with experts to ask specific questions about his individual experiences.
- Calls with local employment professionals.
- Virtual meetings with groups specific to the time zone he wanted to work in.
“Within three months, I started an amazing new role that fit my needs and answered my many prayers. I’m so grateful I found out about these resources and recommend them to anyone,” Forsyth said.
For more information about Employment Services, visit employment.ChurchofJesusChrist.org to review all the free services that are available. Or call 1-888-818-4484 to speak directly with an employment adviser.