After Suzanne Clark’s children graduated, she went back to college and got her degree, too. But when she applied for jobs, she got no response.
In the meantime, she heard that the Welfare and Self-Reliance Services facility near her home in Provo, Utah, needed someone to volunteer once a week.
“I thought, ‘I have the time, I can do that,’” remembered Clark. She filled out the senior mission papers, talked to her bishop and soon was called to a one-year service mission in the fall of 2021.
She thought she might be helping at the Provo Deseret Industries but was assigned to serve in the Employment Center on the campus. Not knowing anything about it at first, she was astonished at all the available resources and training that were offered by Church Employment Services.
“I attended the weekly job skills workshops, and I realized I was not getting a job or anyone responding to my applications because I was doing it wrong. I was doing it like back when I was a young person,” she said.
Clark had no idea her resume needed to be updated or that she should be networking and talking to people in her job search. But when all the information was right in front of her, she said she thought, “I could use this — this is fantastic.”
What is Church Employment Services?
Church Employment Services is online at Employment.ChurchofJesusChrist.org and in several employment centers physically located throughout the U.S. and Canada. It offers professional help through the Active Job Search program, group meetings and individual sessions, job skills training, “ask an expert,” and webinars. Resources are also available for employers, schools, small businesses, stakes and wards.
The services are for anyone, whether they are a Church member or not. People from Australia, South and Central America, Africa and more have received support remotely.
Interested individuals can send an email to EmploymentServices@ChurchofJesusChrist.org or call 888-818-4484.
Clark said the resources “are phenomenal. They have weekly job skills workshops and can get you a coach and someone to practice interviewing.”
The missionaries working there point people in the right direction, and as a missionary, she helped give encouragement, support and help to many people.
In 2021, the Church had over 400 employment missionaries. Meanwhile, in the same year, more than 8,000 individuals attended online job search groups and workshops, receiving personalized job search coaching from Employment Services.
Landing her dream job
While helping others in their job searches, Clark improved her own — joining Zoom sessions and the online job search groups as she kept applying for new jobs.
“Once I started doing things properly in the new way, I started getting some results in phone calls and interviews,” she said.
Networking brought Clark to her new employer. When an acquaintance called her to ask if her son was interested in coming to work for a local law office, Clark mentioned that she was also looking for a job. That acquaintance called back a few months later and asked her to come work for them, too.
Her employer allowed her to finish volunteering each Tuesday morning for her mission, which wrapped up in fall 2022.
“I love my job now,” Clark said. “I held out for something I wanted. It’s flexible, full-time, and I can work in the office or at home. It’s my dream job.”
Clark said she recognizes how much help Employment Services gave her — and it came about because she said yes to a missionary opportunity.
“Our agency and our willingness to serve and do good things often times comes to benefit us with great blessings,” Clark said.