United Church of God

Treasure Digest: Helping the Unemployed

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Treasure Digest

Helping the Unemployed

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While employment goes on a roller-coaster ride with the economy, most available jobs are in the lower paying "service" areas. Older and skilled workers are finding it hard to keep their jobs and even harder to find employment.

The Employment Assistance Network (EAN) was founded in 1995 and has been an effective resource in helping those who find themselves suddenly unemployed and in search of new employment. What can be done?

While many still view their career as one job—one company, "till death do us part," the job market has drastically changed in the past couple of decades. In his book, The Quick Job Hunt Guide, author Robert Siedle explains how the corporate giants sought to cut overhead by eliminating employees with long tenure; thus lowering current salaries and expensive retirement plans.

Recent California Employment Development Department (EDD) statistics show that those in the upper wage brackets, $50,000 per year and above, can expect to change jobs every three to five years—voluntarily or not. And it is not much better for those making less. So it behooves all of those employed to become aware of the job market and to gain or sharpen job search skills.

The EAN has established a Web site to provide resources to the job seeker, www.ean-ucg.org. EAN also has a number of helpful articles and brochures, the masters of which, in Microsoft Word or PDF format, are available to all congregations.

The Web site is available and friendly to non-Church members as well, and provides a service to the community at large as well. In Orange County, California, other groups, such as "Taco Tuesday," a local networking group, and the Career Coaching and Counseling Ministry of Saddleback Valley Community Church make use of our service.

In every area there are those who have gone through the "layoff/job search/new job" process, and hopefully one will also have a desire to help others along this road. EAN can support that person in helping others. If you are that person, contact us by e-mail at kjosifek@mindspring.com for information on starting a chapter in your congregation.

—Knute Josifek
Los Angeles, California, congregation; founder and coordinator of EAN