In a recent conversation, someone told me that “missionaries are clueless.” As I pondered that statement, I desperately wanted to reply with one question: Clueless about what?
I don’t know of another group of 19 to 23-year-olds that have a better clue about life than missionaries. How many men and women do you know that put their entire life on hold during the prime of their lives in order to serve people that they’ve never met? Probably not many.
But big companies like Vivint, Adobe, and Qualtrics recognize the impressive skills and work ethics returned Mormon missionaries come back with and are snatching them up as some of the most prepared and qualified business individuals on the planet.
For this and many other reasons, I believe employers should actively seek to hire returned Mormon missionaries. Here are my top five reasons:
1. They Are Forced To Think On Their Feet
Mormon missionaries undergo two years of specialized training in the field of “resolving concerns” for people. They learn to respond intelligently and analyze situations thoroughly and naturally. Is there any more useful tool in the business world?
Missionaries are faced with a different circumstance almost every second of every day. They’re faced with people from all walks of life. Rich people, poor people, mean people, nice people, and people from all nationalities, religious backgrounds, and cultures. A missionary’s very survival and success hinges on their ability to think and adapt quickly to the diversity of circumstances they face every day.
2. They Learn How to Love Everyone
What if you were required to live with someone you’ve never met before? If you didn’t like each other, you could ignore each other for the most of the day and then come home and sleep, get up in the morning, and again go about your business.
But you can’t do that as a Mormon missionary. You are required to stay with your assigned “companion” 24/7. That means you’d better figure out a way to love this individual and work well with them.
In the business world, the success of a company is contingent upon how well people work together in a team. For returned missionaries, two years of trying to figure out how to get along with almost every type of personality imaginable goes a long way for companies that want to build synergistic teams in their organization.
People used to wonder how Joseph Smith was able to gain so much of a following. They said, “‘Why is it this babbler gains so many followers, and retains them?’ Joseph answered ‘It is because I possess the principle of love. All I can offer the world is a good heart and a good hand” (History of the Church, 5:498).
Missionaries spend two years learning that principle of love.
Read the full article at LDS Living.
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