Pushed to Seek Help
“I knew my job skills needed an update.”
had been a cook for five years until I was in a serious car accident. Recovery involved two years of reconstructive surgery and physical therapy. In total, seven years of unemployment followed this accident. During these struggles I would think of the counsel given by President Spencer W. Kimball about the importance of managing our temporal lives and being self-reliant (see Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball , 115–22). I felt the Spirit pushing me to seek help.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has programs for those seeking employment, such as the LDS Employment Resource Center and Deseret Industries (DI). At the LDS Employment Resource Center I participated in a two-day career workshop and other valuable classes taught by the center’s staff. Because I still didn’t feel quite ready to return to work, a Church-service missionary suggested that I too volunteer. With my native language being Spanish, for the next two years I was a volunteer at the center and was able to help other Spanish-speaking people find jobs. This service was helpful to me as well because I was able to practice my English.
When I was ready to reenter the job market, I knew my job skills needed an update. I was accepted into the training program at DI. Working with my supervisor, I set goals for finding long-term employment. To help me with these goals, I was offered classes and opportunities to learn many new and different job skills, such as providing customer service, managing workloads, and working on a team. When I was made a lead associate, I enjoyed helping other associates find success in their lives. In time I started to feel more confident about my abilities.
When I first began the DI program, I was not feeling very good about myself because of my physical condition and my poor English. The staff at DI, however, were there to support me. They helped me regain my confidence and my self-esteem. They showed their confidence in me by helping me pay for materials and offering me flexible work hours so I could earn my ESL certificate and begin my schooling at the culinary arts institute at the university. My goal is to earn my degree as a chef.
I am very grateful to LDS Employment Resource Services and Deseret Industries for helping me not just to get a job, but to improve my life.
“I was offered classes and opportunities to learn many new and different job skills, such as providing customer service, managing workloads, and working on a team.”
For more amazing stories like Elena's, visit the DI’s Facebook page by clicking here.