By the time I went to the LDS employment center in Ogden, Utah, I was pretty frustrated. Endless hours of searching job placement Web sites resulted in absolutely nothing. The few interviews I managed to arrange all ended the same way — I was "over qualified." When it became apparent that I was not getting anywhere on my own, I finally got humble enough to ask for help.
My original thoughts of LDS Employment Resource Services proved to be inaccurate. I imagined I was going into a setting where they did nothing but help relatively inexperienced people find lower entry-level jobs. I was surprised to see the vast range of positions, including many middle- and upper-level career opportunities. Even my original views of the networking sessions were incorrect. I imagined they would be like some sort of AA meeting, "Hi, I'm Steve, and I'm unemployed." It wasn't like that at all.
I learned very quickly that the other participants were light years ahead of me in the job search process.
Perhaps the greatest tool I received was the "Me in 30 Seconds" training — a brief statement explaining who I am and what I want. It was hard to let go of all the stuff about myself that I was so impressed with and settle on the key elements that employers wanted to know. But doing that is what landed me the job I have now.
Actually, there was no job opening. I used the "Me in 30 Seconds" statement with a business development group to get interview after interview, higher and higher up the chain. Each opportunity gave a clearer understanding of what I had to offer the company. In the end, I created a new job for myself among the group as president of a new franchising division.
At our Christmas party, my new employer presented me with the Development Partner of the Year Award. The chairman of the board who made the presentation simply said, "Steve knows what he wants, and he knows how to get it done. He opened our eyes to a world of possibilities we had not considered and then systematically won each of us over to a new way of thinking that is revolutionizing our business."
That all came from the "Me in 30 Seconds" statement. I did not have to change who I was into someone I thought other people were looking for just so I could get the job. All I needed was to fully understand who I am, what I want, and how I could make that work wherever I went. The power behind that feeling of self-confidence unleashed my own abilities to excel and to win the hearts of my new employers.
I owe that to the wonderful brothers and sisters who serve in the employment center.
— C. Steven Krolak