Navigating through career changes requires faith

Navigating through career changes requires faith

February 1st, 2012 by Mike O'Neal in Local Regional News

Need help finding work? Writing a "killer" résumé? Preparing for a job interview?

It might not be the first thing that usually comes to mind, but try going to church.

That is, try attending the Navigating Through Change seminars that begin next week at First Baptist Church of Fort Oglethorpe.

On Tuesday, the church located on LaFayette Road near Chickamauga Battlefield Park will offer free workshops aimed at guiding people to successfully find their place in today's job market.

"I've been helping a church member, Hank Humphrey, develop this program," senior pastor Jason Thomas said. "He wants to reach those who've been recently unemployed, those trying to find that first job and those who have jobs but are unfulfilled and want to find more meaningful work."

Thomas said there will be some teaching of biblical principles related to life both on and off the job, but this is not a Bible study group.

"We want to serve the community by offering help with résumés and developing their job search skills," he said.

Humphrey has experience as a factory worker, trainer and manager of a human resources department. He also knows firsthand the financial, emotional and mental challenges that accompany losing a job.

After working at one plant for nearly a decade, Humphrey was laid off when his employer was purchased by another company. Finding another job in another industry was made easier by others who helped and advised him, and now Humphrey is ready to return the favor by sharing his experience and skills.

A key to being successful in the quest for work is "telling a good story," and these workshops will guide individuals as they develop a compelling story about why they should be hired and help them hone its telling.

"The biggest thing we can do is to try and help get them ready for the interview," Humphrey said.

Thomas, a district attorney who left the courtroom to attend seminary and answer the call of ministry, said he has "certainly navigated a few changes" during his career and hopes these workshops will help people pick up the pieces and find new meaning in their lives.

"This ministry is an outreach to the community," he said. "It is an example of friends and neighbors working together. As long as people are coming and being served by it, we will carry on."

Humphrey said he fully believes "there are seasons of life" and that these classes will focus on helping folks move on with their lives after losing their livelihood.

"Sometimes the biggest thing is dealing with the hurt and anger that comes with job loss," he said. "We want to use our God-given gifts to encourage people, help them and celebrate when they get a new job."