“Tips for Women Who Must Enter the Workforce,” Ensign, Jan. 2003, 68–69
Latter-day prophets have counseled mothers to remain at home to care for and nurture their children. “We realize also,” said President Ezra Taft Benson, “that some of our choice sisters are widowed and divorced and that others find themselves in unusual circumstances where, out of necessity, they are required to work for a period of time” (To the Mothers in Zion [pamphlet, 1987], 5–6).
When I became a single mother, I quickly realized that I was unprepared to enter the workforce. Fortunately, I was able to find work where I could learn and update my skills. Later, as a member of our stake welfare resources committee, I saw others in similar situations struggle with the panic and doubt that I had faced. Had we all been better prepared, perhaps we would not have feared our predicaments (see D&C 38:30). We can prepare in the following ways:
Education. We develop our talents by taking advantage of appropriate opportunities to further our education. Like an insurance policy, such education may someday prove essential, though the skills and knowledge it represents may not be fully utilized while we raise our families.
In addition to full-time day classes, opportunities to increase our education and marketable skills include home-study courses, seminars, workshops, and evening classes. Daily activities like studying the scriptures and writing in our journals also add to our education by keeping our minds alert and receptive to inspiration, as well as by helping us hone our abilities to express ourselves.
Service. Church membership offers us many opportunities to bless others and to improve ourselves as we accept and magnify callings. The interpersonal skills we develop through teaching, meeting with, and serving one another provide experience that can prove beneficial in some future job.
Additional service opportunities are available through organizations like the United Way, Red Cross, schools and parent-teacher associations, libraries, and youth groups.
LDS Employment Services. Latter-day Saints who obtain authorization from their bishops can register with LDS Employment Services in nearly 100 cities in the United States and Canada. LDS Employment Services helps job seekers generate individual plans to develop their marketable skills, identifies job opportunities through contact with potential employers, and works with community agencies to identify local career planning, counseling, and educational opportunities. Be sure to work closely with your ward employment specialist, who has access to a wide range of helpful resources (see “The Job-Search Network,” Ensign, Feb. 1993, 24–28).
Résumé. Ask professional acquaintances for suggestions, and ask close friends and relatives for help in identifying strengths and talents to be included on the résumé. Develop a list of potential jobs that fit the qualifications, training, and interests outlined on your résumé.
We have the Lord’s promise that “all things shall work together for good to them that walk uprightly” (D&C 100:15). As we remain faithful, trust in the Lord, and take advantage of opportunities to serve others and to prepare ourselves, we will be blessed in our righteous endeavors to provide for our own welfare.—Winnie Gardner, Cordova Ward, Sacramento California Cordova Stake