RMs for Hire
Ashley Evanson - October 10, 2008
Returned missionaries come home from serving two years with no pay and quite often feel immediately pinched for cash. Car payments, insurance, rent, tuition, and don't forget dating, can leave an RM's already empty bank account even more desperate for some quick cash. When looking for a job, returned missionaries should use their newly acquired skills to boost their resume and find a job that uses techniques they learned on their mission. Knowing a foreign language or having fantastic door-to-door skills can help land a returned missionary a great job in today's workforce. Whether they are guiding tours in a foreign country, selling products "tracting" style, or teaching others to speak a different language, returned missionaries have plenty of employment opportunities. Tour Guide and Outdoor Activities After having lived in a new city or even foreign country for two years, returned missionaries have a taste for the world outside their homes. A lot of them like to go back to visit where they served anyway, so why not go back and make some cash while doing it? One great option is tour guiding, which practically pays employees to have fun. Bike tours through Europe, jungle tours in Thailand, hiking tours up Mt. Olympus, and wildlife and glacier tours in Alaska are only a few things you can get paid to do. You don't have to speak of foreign language to be a tour guide either. English language tours for tourists visiting foreign countries are a great way to live out of the country while only requiring English. Hostelworld.com is a great website that provides online booking services, so it's a good place to start your search for names of prospective employers. Another resourceful website is backdoorjobs.com, which focuses on outdoor adventure jobs. You can search for companies in the U.S. or worldwide that hire guides for activities like kayaking, rock climbing, fishing, and tons of other outdoor ventures. Construction and Landscaping There's always a need for hard labor, so a lot of returned missionaries get jobs working construction or landscaping. A good way to find a job in this field is to simply check the classifieds or even a website like craigslist.org. Being a member of a ward is an excellent resource as well because there's always someone you know that has a job to be done, whether it's painting the fence or helping them install their new kitchen. For a more official construction job, check out constructionjobs.com, or you can go to your city's website to look for landscaping jobs. Child Care Many returned missionaries come from large families with lots of kids and a lot of babysitting experience. Where you used to watch the kids for free for Mom, now you can get paid to do it for others. Nanny jobs are becoming extremely popular, and guess who most clients like to hire: LDS young adults. There are websites like greataupair.com and nannyjobs.com were you make a profile and post your resume for families to see. Nannying gives you the opportunity to live stateside or in foreign countries, to form lasting relationships, and to make some good money while doing it. Another option is babysitting for families in your neighborhood. A lot of parents like to take vacations without their kids so they hire someone to play mom or dad for the week. Spread the word that you're available and you're sure to line up a few jobs. Teaching After having taught the gospel, returned missionaries come back with wonderful teaching skills. This is a great ability to have and can be used in a variety of work settings. For starters, the Missionary Training Center loves to hire returned missionaries as teachers. If you love the gospel and love to teach, this is probably the perfect job. However, the MTC mostly hires Brigham Young University students, so keep that in mind. Another teaching job most people don't even think about is that of substitute teaching. Most states only require the applicant to have a high school diploma, although some do require an associates or even BA degree. They pay fairly well, an average of $65 a day, and the work schedule is extremely flexible. You can apply for the whole school district or just specific schools; you can even pick which classes you would like to teach. Sales Knocking door-to-door is nothing new to a returned missionary, which is why a lot of sales companies love hiring RMs. The most popular companies are ones that sell security systems, pest control, and DSL. Besides the necessary "tracting" skills, it's a good job for returned missionaries because it requires a lot of hard work and dedication, something RMs know all about. They're already accustomed to moving to an unfamiliar place and living with people they don't know. And, you get what you put into it, just like you do as a missionary. It's a rigorous work schedule, but many past employees agree that there are valuable life lessons to be learned from a job like this. Qualities like independence, hard work, and professionalism are among the few that can be acquired with a sales job. Also, there is a real potential to make tens of thousands of dollars over the course of just a few months. However, don't get sucked into the first company that comes along recruiting. Not all sales companies can deliver on the promises they make. There are a few very important questions you should ask before signing any contracts, like, "What is the company's track record?" "What are the management and team like?" "When do I get paid?" A good place to start looking for a sales job is at apxalarm.com or rmjobs.com, both credible companies that hire a lot of returned missionaries. Don't wait around for a job opportunity to come to you. Be proactive! An RM's new skills and persistence are tremendous assets for landing a great job.
© LDS Living Sept/Oct 2008