“The Job Hunt,” Ensign, Feb. 1985, 67
In a study on career education I made recently, I was impressed with three ideas. To be prepared for a career, you should know yourself well—your interests, talents, and values. You should also know about the many jobs available and their training requirements and opportunities. Last, you should know how to get a job.
Knowledge of individual interests and of the job market can begin when a child is young. Parents can expose their children to many ideas. My family vacations were always fun because we learned as we traveled. We stopped to see parachutes packed by firefighters; trees felled, transported, and sawed in mills; paper made from pulp and books printed on the paper. We visited automobile assembly lines and cotton mills. The more a child knows about himself and his world the better able he will be to choose a career which will be both useful and satisfying.
Although some type of education is needed to qualify for many jobs, researching specific career and job opportunities will help you get the job you want. For example, with my education in psychology and English, I might have sought advice from technical writers, organizational behavior professors, editors, principals, and teachers in all types of education. When doing this type of research, you might ask the following questions: What do you do in your job? What training did you need? What do you like about your job? What is your greatest challenge? At this point, your goal is not necessarily to sell yourself to an employer, but to find out whether or not you would enjoy a particular type of employment and what the future job outlook is.
With such background information, you can then tailor your resume to a particular position. Resumes should usually be limited to one page. They should be professional, not clever, in appearance. If yours is printed on a light beige or gray paper, the employer will be more likely to notice it in the pile on his or her desk. Sometimes it is better to request an interview from the person who has the power to hire you, instead of always going through the personnel office. It is also a good practice to write a thank-you note immediately after the interview to the person who interviewed you and to the secretary who helped you.
Contacts such as friends, teachers, and ward employment specialists can be very helpful in recommending you when they hear of job openings. In fact, most jobs—as many as 80 percent—are never advertised.
Knowing you are trained for a career gives a sense of security. Even if you never work full time, your skills can help you at home, in the Church, and as a community worker. Such training can help expand your abilities and talents so you are always ready to serve. Arlene Flanders, Ogden, Utah