Career Transitions Ministry

by Ron Kelley

It’s inevitable that you will have church members finding themselves in the midst of career transition. Studies show that throughout the past 20 years, more than 280 million workers have changed jobs, and more than 40 million have been laid off or involuntarily terminated. Job loss can have a traumatic effect on individuals and families, leading to questions such as “Why did God let this happen?” I’ve found – especially with men who take their role of being the “family provider” seriously – that some take job loss extremely hard, especially when a new job is not found soon after leaving their previous position.

Everyone who loses his or her job and experiences unemployment is either a believer or unbeliever. For the believer, a job search is a faith journey because God never promises employment stability – even for the Christian. For the unbeliever, a job search is also a faith journey because many people will accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord during a time of job loss, as the Lord uses this experience to soften one’s heart, making him or her more sensitive to the Gospel message. And therefore, churches should have a career transitions ministry that not only serves its members, but serves as an outreach to the community.

Career Transitions is a vibrant Prestonwood ministry offering the following services.

Resume Connection

Assist with the development of a concise, clear resume that shares the applicant’s experience and value statement with future employers.

Job Flash Notification

Reach out to local companies who are hiring and ask them to share their job openings; maintain an up-to-date database of these positions. Have job seekers sign up to receive notifications of these job postings, allowing members and guests to apply for opportunities that fit their skill set. We’ve had great success with this setup, and we’ve been able to place thousands of people in our community.

Seminars

Throughout the year, we host classes on how to build a positive social-media profile (yes, companies check social media sites), how to use tools such as LinkedIn in a job search, and how to use the power of networking, the single most important aspect of a job search. It’s not “whom you know, but whom your contacts know” that lead many to their next great opportunity.

One-on-One Coaching

Nothing is better than meeting personally to assist with developing a strategic job search. This time also allows you to assess the person’s relationship with the Lord and give assurance that the Lord knows exactly every detail of their current situation. You should also address the financial situation, making sure he or she is surrounded by people who will encourage, pray, and keep him or her accountable. Your church may not have the resources to host its very own weekly networking meeting, but keep a list of the best networking groups in your area to recommend. And make Christ the centerpiece of your job search! Begin by thanking Him for the job He is going to provide. It’s an exercise of living by faith! For more details about a “Job Search Action List” go to prestonwoodfoundation.org/careertransitions.

Weekly Prayer List

We maintain a list of those who are in career transition, and we make it a point as a staff to lift them up in prayer. We send them e-mails or cards to let them know we’re lifting them up and that we care about them as people.

Celebrate

When a new job is landed, we make it a point to celebrate with the individual and give glory to God for His provision. I’ve found the individuals who have gone through the toughest job searches turn out to be the best volunteer candidates, so going forward, don’t hesitate to ask them to help out in this important ministry.

Ron Kelley is Director of Prestonwood Foundation at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas.

Comments

  1. Melissa R Alvis says

    Hi Ron,

    My name is Melissa Alvis. I sent an email on February 27th requesting assistance for resume writing/revision and employment advice.

    I would like to request information on what is required to begin this process. Thank you in advance for your assistance. I look forward to hearing from you.

    Warm regards,
    Melissa Alvis

    • Jack Raymond says

      Hi Melissa,

      Have you heard back from Ron yet? I will email him today.

      Thank you,
      Jack Raymond (jraymond@prestonwood.org)

    • Jack Raymond says

      Hi Melissa,

      I believe that Ron has emailed you this week. I hope that you both can connect!

      Jack

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