Ed Eaton did not mean to get a new job. He had simply created a new profile on LinkedIn to demonstrate how to use such tools to the people he was coaching as an Employment Services missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
But then he was contacted by a recruiter.
“Some of our job seekers had been getting calls from recruiters, and I hadn’t had an opportunity myself to talk to a recruiter in 30 years,” he said. “So I thought, ‘Well, I’ll play along, I’ll just see how this program goes.’”
The recruiter was for his dream company. And so, after talking with his wife, Patricia Eaton, he took the job.
“It was a great example of how the skills that are offered by [the Church’s] Active Job Search are so strong. They are so powerful that they even resulted in me getting a job I wasn’t looking for, because I appeared to be looking for a job,” he said.
That’s how he ended up in Cleveland, Ohio, on a work trip — where he had a heart attack.
He would have died if he had been at home in rural Virginia. Instead, his hotel was five minutes from the Cleveland Clinic — a leading cardiology research and teaching hospital.
There his heart rhythm was restored, and his life was saved. Patricia Eaton is forever thankful.
“It’s really that because of Active Job Search and all the resources and that we were trying to teach others that we were even in Cleveland,” she said.
Free, online resources from Employment Services
Church Employment Services resources are free — and not just for members of the 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.
Ed and Patricia Eaton served as Employment Services missionaries for three years — first in Arizona, and then in Virginia, where they are members of the Newport News Virginia Stake.
They were able to continue their mission, even after their cross-country move, because of the virtual capability of Employment Services — virtual options they began using while serving first for several years with BYU–Pathway Worldwide.
At the time they began their assignment with BYU–Pathway in Arizona, the program was all in person at the Glendale (Arizona) Institute of Religion — and it covered a large geographical area. Some of the students were commuting several hours each way to attend.
The Eatons knew virtual classes could work to help other students be able to attend, and they were asked to try it. Soon they had 25 to 30 students meeting online from five states in the central and southern United States.
As the Eatons developed their skills with Zoom and online teaching, they were asked to develop more virtual options for Employment Services in their area.
“We were wearing two missionary hats and badges; it was awesome,” Patricia Eaton said.
They started facilitating an Active Job Search group online — then a few months later the COVID-19 pandemic shut down all in-person activities in early 2020.
BYU–Pathway and Employment Services were able to quickly transition to fully virtual services.
“It was an amazing experience to watch it all fall into place to help as many people as we did as we ran both Pathway and the AJS simultaneously from our home,” Ed Eaton said.
A proven and powerful program
The Eatons say more people need to be aware of Employment Services, which they call a proven and powerful self-reliance program.
They saw many success stories with people they worked with, by tweaking one thing on a resume, changing an approach to interviews, improving networking skills trying new platforms like LinkedIn and Indeed.
They worked with people who were laid off but had no success from the professional job coaching packages they had been given from their previous companies. However, after turning to Employment Services, they saw results.
“The job seeking skills, resume writing, interview coaching … All of the resources that we get as missionaries from these people are eye-opening. It’s an amazing resource,” Ed Eaton said.
Even though they are no longer Employment Service missionaries, the Eatons are working to educate members of their stake and others about its value. They have even helped friends and neighbors in their area who were looking for new jobs.
“This resource is so powerful that if you follow the recommendations and if you obtain the skills of developing a LinkedIn profile, developing a good resume and so forth, in my case, I got literally a dream job that I wasn’t even looking for.”