From Working a Job to Walking in Your Calling
Have you ever found yourself working a job just to get by?
Or taking a job that was supposed to be temporary and it became permanent?
Or working a job that was way below your potential?
If your answer to any of these questions is, “yes,” then we have a lot in common and this blog post is for you.
At some point in my life I could answer yes to all of the questions. I was left asking myself, how did I get here?
See, I went to college, graduated with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. The natural career track for me: Television Journalist and that’s what I wanted to do. But when I graduated, I wanted to live in New York more. So much more, that I left my entry level broadcast job at the local public access television station to move to New York City, 30 days after graduation. I moved to the big apple and started my first post college job writing a major corporation’s online magazine. I figured, it’s still storytelling. I’m using my writing skills. Surely, this will lead me to a job in my field of television journalism.
That job led me to be laid off, which led me to take three jobs completely left of my field to pay the bills: bartending, alcohol marketing and retail human resources.
Huh? How did I get here?
My job journey didn’t end there. I was eventually able to quit two of the three jobs, but then added another. Investor Relations Communications. It paid well! I started taking annual international trips. Saving, investing and donating my money to great causes. All the while moving further and further from my goal and my calling: to inspire people through storytelling.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I was still walking in my purpose. To display the love of Jesus, lead people to Christ and encourage others. However, the daily vehicle for this purpose and my gifts and talents wasn’t connected. In hindsight, I learned that God doesn’t waste a thing. Even though I was working odd jobs in human resources, and financial communications I was learning lessons, witnessing the love of God and building character. Which is what we should all be doing, no matter what job we’re in. Wherever, we’ve been hired, becomes our assignment. Our gifts and talents are not limited to where we work.
So why wasn’t I working in my calling?
Truth is, I had gotten off track. Plain and simple. Moving to New York City trumped everything. I believed that moving to New York City would grant me opportunities of a lifetime, and it did. I believed moving to the big apple would open supernatural doors, and it did. I believed that by moving to New York City, I would work in my field of television news and walk in my calling, and I did…down the line. Way down the line.
So, how did I go from working “jobs,” to walking in my calling?
Well, after five years, and a resume of jobs, I made a decision. My next job, would be THE job. It would be a job in television news. I didn’t care how long it took, I would wait on God to deliver. That sounds easy enough and pretty resolute, but that decision led me on a whole new journey.
A tough one. A journey that required focus, discipline and perseverance.
In 2010, I started working on a new demo reel. My current one…wait for it…was on VHS! I had some work to do. I took one step and then another and then another towards my calling.
At the time, I was engaged to my now husband. He was fully on board me making the transition back into television news. I started by taking any freelance hosting or reporting opportunity I could. I told people of my intentions to shift into a TV news career. Then, I enrolled in a “Television 101,” class. I’d been out of the newsroom for five years. I needed a refresher. That class afforded me a mentor (that I still have today) and a new reel! Once I had that new reel, I knew my path was set. I would apply to a news station, get an offer.
HA! WRONG again.
I applied for an entire year and most of what I got was “no” or no answer at all. I even got a rejection from a job, I didn’t apply to. All I could do was laugh.
Fast forward to 2012, my mentor put me in touch with a former colleague of hers who was in news management. The catch: the station was based at a station in Texas.
Hold up! What a minute…how’s this gonna work? How Sway, how?
By this time, I was married. I shared the possibility of moving to Texas for work with my husband. Thankfully, he was on board. He knew that taking the job in Texas was the open door I needed to break in. A testament to the importance of the person you marry–but that’s another blog post.
After a couple of months of talks with the Texas station, they made me an offer! I’ll never forget that phone call. It was surreal. They were offering me the job, I had been dreaming about and working so hard to get. When I hung up the phone, I balled my eyes out. This was my first step away from working a job to walking in my calling. I took the job, and never looked back.
Which leads me to my message for you.
First, know what your calling is. Know what are you uniquely called to do on this earth. If you don’t know the answer, I encourage you to seek God. Spend time with Him and get clarity. (Matthew 6:33, James 1:5)
Once you have your answer, take the first step. Our acts of faith propel God to move (Hebrews 11:1-6). Until we say yes to our calling, it often frustrates us, taps us on the shoulder and won’t leave us alone.
Reporting wouldn’t leave me alone. It kept me up at night. It called out to me. None of the jobs I worked could hold my gifts and talents. They were too small.
Now, don’t get me wrong–while television reporting refines many of my gifts and talents, and is a vehicle that helps me achieve my calling; the plans God has for me are bigger.
The same is true for you. Don’t look for a job to be the answer. They are all just stepping stones to reach your highest calling and help others. The issue for me was that my jobs were stones scattered all over the place.
After I moved back to New York from Texas, I started my own production company and web show. All of the skills I use reporting, I use on my show. Reporting is definitely a stepping stone to larger goals I have like hosting my own global talk show. I know that my show is a stepping stone to that goal–where I ultimately, inspire, encourage and transform the world.
Shifting from a job to walking in your calling will take:
– laser focus
– cutting out things and activities that don’t line up
– discipline to do what it takes to get there
– perseverance through the rejection and dark days on your way to your goal.
Today, I have no regrets about my journey into TV news. None. Each season taught me a lesson. Each lesson refined me. Each challenge showed me who I was. Nothing was wasted.
Today, I’m working at my third station, WMUR-TV, hosting my own talk show called “The Positive Controversy,” running a non profit for women, publishing my first book and embarking on some other cool endeavors to help others meet their higher potential. Sometimes, it’s totally surreal, that this is my life. Because I know the journey it took to get here. I’m so grateful for each twist, turn and pitfall.
If you know that there is more for you; if you know that your gifts and talents can be used in a greater way; if you know that there’s something you’re called to do and you’re not doing it–I encourage you to take the first step. Take one leap of faith, and then another, and another. God will meet you each step of the way. If you stay on that track, you’ll look up one day and realize you’re no longer just working jobs. You’ll be walking in purpose and walking in the calling you were meant to fulfill.
Much love! Xo
PS – Grab the official #PositiveControversy t-shirt and a mug while you’re here!