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Monday, May 25, 2009

Workshop #2 Begins...

Our second workshop! We have a very unique group, including a deaf young woman. She has a hearing aid but can’t hear most of what we’re saying. Plus, I imagine it’s pretty difficult to understand 2 foreigners when you struggle to understand the language to begin with. Fortunately we are a companionship so we work together to keep Dina up with the class. After the class finished we had the unique experience of learning Guatemalan Sign Language. Dina taught us and Marissa, another participant who knows some GSL, the alphabet and signs for family members and other basic words. It was so much fun!

Ok, I owe my dear sister Kelly an explanation and I will explain it today. We teach the Career Workshop, a workshop designed by the Church to help unemployed people find jobs. It focuses on giving them hope in what often seems like a hopeless situation and teaching them to take the initiative. There are 4 different parts to the workshop:

1. My Goals

Here we talk about the different interests and talents the participants have. Then we look into the job they are looking for, the skills, education, training, and experience needed for it, and make long and short term goals based on their needs. We also prepare a statement called “Me in 30 Seconds” that is a way to introduce yourself briefly but powerfully. It’s a great tool to prepare the participants to introduce themselves to strangers and interviewers.

2. My Resources

This section opens with the scripture from D&C 104:14-15, 17. We concentrate on the promise from the Lord that “there is enough and to spare.” In this section we talk about the most effective way to get jobs: 36% of jobs are found through networking, 30% by contacting employers directly, the rest is split between want ads, employment agencies and others. We look at our current networks, ways to contact employers, and resources that the Church offers. We set up some rules, including the 10-2-2 Rule: Contact at least 10 people per day, get 2 referrals from each contact, set up at least 2 face-to-face interviews each day.

3. My Interactions with Resources

The focus of this section is “If ye are prepared ye shall not fear.” (D&C 38:30) The participants learn about Power Statements, a statement that focuses on a skill or talent and a specific example of that skill and the result of that example. I had a hard time when I first learned about Power Statements, but now I see every success in my life as an opportunity to create a new Power Statement. Pretty encouraging! This is pure practice; the participants practice their statements, contacting employers, networking, calling referrals, making great first impressions, opening and closing interviews, and we close with full mock interviews. It’s a great chance for everyone to start losing their fear and know what to expect.

4. My Continued Success
After obtaining the job we want the participants to keep it so this section is dedicated to helping them be prepared for emergencies, know how to interact and negotiate with managers and set new goals for continued progression.

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