As an employment mentor, you will have the opportunity to serve a member of your ward or branch who is looking for employment. Throughout the mentoring experience, ponder on the words of King Benjamin: “When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God” (Mosiah 2:17).
What Is an Employment Mentor?
An employment mentor aids a bishop or branch president in helping members find suitable employment and build successful careers.
Why Am I Needed as a Mentor?
Your bishop or branch president has asked you to be a mentor to assist a member of your ward or branch in the process of:
- Finding employment.
- Developing skills and successful job behaviors.
- Setting and reaching goals.
With authorization from a bishop or branch president, your branch or ward member—the job seeker—may also work with a development counselor from Development Counseling Services (DCS) and a job coach trainer from Deseret Industries (DI). If so, the development counselor will work with the job seeker to develop career goals and a job search plan, providing career coaching and counseling along the way. As a mentor, you will be asked to partner with the staff at DCS and DI to assist the job seeker in achieving career self-reliance.
If the job seeker is not working with DCS, you will need to determine how you can best help him or her. You may want to help with developing a career plan or a plan for job searching, or you may decide to offer logistical help, such as giving rides to interviews, watching children, and offering encouragement.
How Do I Get Started?
If the job seeker is working with DCS, he or she will attend a planning meeting to establish goals, milestones, and action steps. You should participate in this meeting (which will take place sometime during the job seeker’s first 30 days with DCS) and in subsequent meetings (which will be held quarterly thereafter). As an employment mentor, contact the development counselor to set up an initial meeting so you can help the job seeker work toward his or her goals.
If the job seeker is not working with DCS, you will want to meet one-on-one with the job seeker to establish expectations and to determine how you can best support him or her during the process of looking for employment. You should meet shortly after receiving your mentoring assignment. Remember that as a mentor, you will help the job seeker work toward his or her career goals.
How Can I Be a Successful Mentor?
You play an important role in helping the job seeker succeed. You will be a successful employment mentor as you:
- Follow the guidance of the Spirit by providing encouragement.
- Show Heavenly Father’s love for the job seeker.
- Help the job seeker recognize Heavenly Father’s hand in his or her career self-reliance.
- Establish an honest and caring relationship with the job seeker.
- Learn the job seeker’s strengths as well as the areas in which he or she needs to improve.
- Give suggestions and provide kind, constructive feedback.
- Share the job seeker’s progress with your bishop or branch president.
- Identify resources in your area that might provide an opportunity for the job seeker to work in a business partnership, receive skills training, or obtain work.
- Build and maintain a relationship of trust by listening carefully, giving encouragement and counsel, and respecting the job seeker’s personal agency.
If the job seeker is working with DCS or DI, you should also:
- Actively participate in meetings and complete assignments from planning meetings.
- Report on assignments, including following up on the ongoing progress of action steps.
- Help the job seeker revise his or her plan to achieve goals, milestones, and action steps on an as-needed basis.
- Communicate with the development counselor when issues or concerns arise.
As you do these things, you will be blessed for your service. You will see changes take place in your own life as well as in the job seeker’s life.