When you’re looking for a job, you’re often faced with the following challenges:
- Gaps in employment. When you haven’t been employed for a period of years, the gap creates a problem with your resume. Employers are suspicious as to the reasons for unemployment and prefer to see an uninterrupted track record from one company to another.
- Lack of experience. If you’re looking to move into a specific professional field, you need experience demonstrating competence in this field. Without experience, assertions about skills often have no credibility.
- No portfolio samples. You can compensate for lack of experience or education by showcasing an impressive portfolio of work you’ve completed. But without a strong portfolio, you’re often at the mercy of your resume alone.
Involvement in the LDSTech community can help overcome these three challenges and increase your chances of finding employment. LDSTech is the community effort of the Church for IT projects. In the LDSTech community, project teams work together to develop solutions for technical problems. For example, every one of the official LDS mobile applications (Gospel Library, Mormon Channel, etc.) was developed by the LDSTech community effort.
LDSTech projects usually involve a mix of internal employees and remotely located volunteers. Currently there are about 50 projects you can join. The work you do on projects ranges widely and can include any of the following:
- Quality assurance
- Software development
- Documentation and training
- Database administration
- Project management
- Security architecture
- Web design and development
- Community management
After you join a project, the project manager assesses your skills and assigns tasks most suited to your capabilities. If you have little or no IT experience, you can still do testing, writing, support, management, communication, and other less technical tasks.
To join a project on LDSTech, click Projects in the top navigation bar. Log in with your LDS Account. Complete the Skills and Profile subtabs. Then click the Projects subtab and browse for a project to join.
You can contribute as much or as little time as your schedule allows. An active contributor usually dedicates about 10 hours a week. If you want to contribute more time, or even work full-time, you can also serve Church service missions for LDSTech.
Additional volunteer opportunities, especially for non-technical candidates, are available at another Church website: Helping in the Vineyard. The Vineyard allows members to work independently as they help with minute-sized tasks, such as checking document formatting, tagging videos, or adding keywords to images. Members who speak multiple languages can assist with community translation efforts. If you have photography skills, you can contribute your own photos.
Whatever amount of time you contribute, whether it’s through LDSTech or Helping in the Vineyard, the experience you gain helps you overcome employment gaps, find experience, and acquire samples for a portfolio. You will be much more likely to get jobs in IT fields and others as a result.