“Employment,” Counseling Resources (2020).

“Employment,” Counseling Resources.


Good employment is one way that individuals can adequately provide for themselves and their families as well as use their skills and find fulfillment. While some seeking employment may be unemployed, many others are currently working but may be looking for greater opportunities, such as a change in their work situation or improved income.

Regardless of why people may be looking for work, a job search can be challenging, and anyone looking for a job can have a variety of needs. Those needs may be financial, emotional, physical, or spiritual. As you work with people who are looking for employment, first seek to understand those needs, and then direct them to resources that can help them develop continued success. Express your love to those you are working with, and help them feel hope as they work through the job search process or as they seek additional educational or self-employment opportunities.

Seek to Understand

When someone is looking for employment, make sure to first help her or him feel understood. This is best done in a one-on-one conversation to help the person feel comfortable and more willing to share. Prayerfully consider asking questions like the following in a kind and sensitive manner to help you better understand the situation and discern needs:

  • I know a job search can be hard. How are you doing? How can I help?

  • What is your current employment situation?

  • What kinds of opportunities are you targeting?

  • What positions or jobs are you interested in?

Help the Individual

As you come to understand the person’s employment needs, consider using some of the following suggestions. As you talk with her or him, make sure to show love and empathy as the Savior would. For guidance on how to best help individuals seeking employment, please review the article “How to Help Someone Looking for a Job” in addition to the content below.

Ask before you share information about the person’s job search.

  • Prayerfully think of other individuals who might be most helpful to the individual looking for a job, including members of the ward and stake.

  • Consider asking the person, “Can I share this information with others who might have good contacts and job leads for you?”

Share only information that matches the person’s interests.

  • Most people are intentionally searching for the right job, not just any job, so be sure to only share job leads and contacts that are relevant to the person’s employment goals. While you may have good intentions, sending any type of job lead can actually make the person feel misunderstood.

  • Consider keeping a list of contacts within the ward who could provide helpful connections to job seekers in a variety of industries and positions.

Connect to expert resources. Someone looking for a job typically isn’t expecting you to show them how to do their job search or to be their job coach. Oftentimes, you can be most helpful by connecting the person to resources from job search experts.

  • Community resources, online videos, web searches, books, and current articles are all fantastic resources for job search information.

  • If the person would like a job coach, help him or her get connected to an expert in job search techniques. An internet search for free job search coaching will often help you find experts who are willing to help.

  • In some areas, you may be able to connect with help and resources from the Church’s Employment Services.

  • If this person is experiencing mental or emotional distress as a result of a difficult job search, consider connecting her or him to a therapist or other mental health resources.

Support the Family

Employment issues may affect family members as well as the individual. Family members may need emotional, spiritual, and financial support. Remember to be sensitive to the different situations in each family. Be aware of potential mental health needs related to employment issues, and connect those in need to professional resources.

Counsel with the family about their financial situation, and discuss their resources. Remember that many members will be hesitant and unlikely to ask for financial help, even when they need it. Be sensitive to this, and consider offering assistance rather than waiting to be asked. Consider referring to the Finances resource for help.

Use Ward and Stake Resources

Church members can be supportive and helpful to those who may be seeking employment. Remember to ask for permission before sharing information about the person’s job search. Refer members to the article “How to Help Someone Looking for a Job” to help them know how to minister to someone looking for employment.

For individuals with barriers to employment (such as lack of training, social or emotional issues, or language difficulties), you may need to access additional resources:

Identify and encourage the use of local career service organizations and resources. Resources may include:

  • Government and private agencies.

  • Educational institution career service centers.

  • NGOs (nongovernmental organizations).

  • Apprenticeships, internships, and on-the-job training programs.