My work is the sum total of my values, skills, and experiences.
My values are my faith, my people, my health, my work, and my words — in that order.
My faith comes first, certainly. I believe, really and truly, in Jesus Christ and the Gospel as it stands in Scripture. I've staked my life on that, and everything I do, to the best of my ability, is guided by and based on it.
Next to that, my people are my highest priority and deepest joy. The biggest impact I have in my life will not be something I do; it will be the family and friends I love, and no work or leisure is worth sacrificing my relationships with them. (That health ranks next is less about my abs, then and more about being physically, mentally, and emotionally well so I can fully love those people.)
My work is a conduit to those things, and all the more purposeful because of it. This took me a long time to learn! But choosing work that aligns with and serves those values leads me to pour my heart and creativity into it out of gratitude, not chasing after some crazy measure of success. It makes even the not-fun-stuff meaningful — though the reality is, most of my work for RightNow is really fun. I've got it good, y'all.
Last but not least, my words are some combination of calling and compulsion. I can't not write. So I do my best to share good stories, speak truth, and make people feel like they're not alone. (Because they're not.)
My skills are the tools of my trade — the things I'm naturally good at and/or have crafted over the years. Here's a list of mine:
- Writing — copy, news-style, feature, etc.
- Social media
- Public relations
- Basic digital advertising
- Basic graphic design
- Basic photography
(The last time I was job-searching, I also made a list of "non-professional" things I'm good at, and that was kind of fun. You should make one, too.)
My experiences (at least in the job realm) are what I've done with those skills, based on my values — though at 24, a lot of it has been just figuring it all out. So far, I've:
- Gone to college, where I studied journalism and Spanish, wrote as much as possible for our athletics department, did a little bit of everything for our club sports department, and interned for the communications departments of two churches back in Austin.
- Graduated, worked a summer for a guest ranch in Colorado (People skills! Work ethic!); then moved back to Lynchburg to barista, freelance, sideline report and color commentate on the weekends, and generally job-hunt (More people skills! More work ethic! Practice! Persistence! Patience!).
- Worked for a literary agency in Austin, where I handled clients' social media accounts, helped develop marketing strategies, made plenty of mistakes, and gained a lot of clarity surrounding my values (see above!).
- Interned for Kingsland Baptist Church in Katy for a year, doing communications and marketing work for their missions partners, traveling far and wide, but finding the most satisfaction rooting deeply in my own home church and community.
- Moved to McKinney to work for RightNow Media, an organization with a mission I believe in, a culture in which I thrive, and coworkers I'd want to hang out with all the time, anyway. I'd happily sort the mail, but running their social media and assisting in general marketing is the icing on the cake.