In our attempt to capture the stories of Faith@Work'ers, today we're taking a look into the life and story of the man, the myth, the legend: Jordan Hayes.
Two legends together: Steven and Jordan
What have you been up to since graduating?JH:
Finding a job, getting more involved in church, continued education, playing basketball, learning new rhythms of life, developing new community and connecting with old ones in new ways, and all in all try to figure out how to do this new season life...well :-) F@W:
What's been the biggest surprise, for better or worse?JH:
"For better": Finding a job in my career field of interest. How it happened is a whole other story, but it's truly a gift. (Deut. 8:18)
"For worse": You always hear about how dealing with the transition of community post-college can be difficult, but what surprised me was just how strong the sentiments of loneliness and purposelessness can be. I'm sure this doesn't happen for everyone, but it seems that many of the college-grads I've talked to have had to wrestle with this to some degree. "For worse" turns to "for better" because loneliness and questions of purpose point out my deep need for the Lord. Through these I'm compelled to "seek first God and His kingdom" and put secondary motivators in their rightful place. F@W:
What steps have you taken to figure out the REAL YOU and your calling?JH:
(1) Spending time away away from a formal leadership role. I don't think this is for everyone, but I needed to see where I was at with questions like "Where am I at with God without the commitments/structure of 'leadership'?" It was an important time, and enabled me to reengage leadership refreshed and re-centered.
(2) Through meeting others and learning about both what they do and what they love to do, I've come across things I'd have been passionate about long ago--if only I knew they existed! Example: A friend shared that she puts her public relations skills to work for a nonprofit children's reading campaign. I love reading, and value its role in the lives of kids and adults alike, but I had never connected the dots and considered acting on this passion by volunteering with a link-minded org. Now...maybe!
(3) (In process) Writing a mission statement. "Who am I/What do I want to be about?" It's easy to run circles in my head asking/answering these questions...putting it on paper forces clarity, and serves as a nice check point to see if I'm running in the direction I want to be, or if perhaps my values/vision have changed. F@W:
What's the biggest questions you're sitting with right now?JH:
"Can God be my everything?" By 'everything' I mean the foundation of my heart from which all other 'loves' stem. And the question isn't really "can He" so much as "what would it take for him to be"? F@W:
In what ways have you noticed God's presence in the workplace?JH:
I think day-in-and-day-out I see it in His Word redeeming my perspective of work. The difference between a day of joyful/wholehearted work (and rest) and fearful/mediocre day of work (and rest) is his Word...Significance/Integrity: "Work...as unto the Lord" (Colossians 3:23-24); Calling: "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance" (Ephesians 2:10); Identity: "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast" (Eph 2:8-9); Rest: "Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done." (Gen 2:3). Of course it's important not to take passages out of context, but it's eye-opening to read Scripture in light of work! F@W:
What encouragement or advice would you give a college student just starting their senior year?JH:
I know that, for many seniors, post-college life seems either too far off to worry about or so near that it's overwhelmingly worrisome. The reality is...it's what next, and has to be dealt with sooner or later! To be honest, there's probably a lot to deal with: career, location, community, family, expectations, academics, applications, interviews, networking, money, success, failure, hope, disappointment. On that note, two quick pieces of advice:
(1) Start now. Because...you probably won't get it right the first time. It takes bombing 9 interviews to do the 10th one well, and it takes facing and processing fear in order to receive peace. So start stepping into whatever seems to be on the 1-year horizon for you, and embrace every step you take in this direction as an opportunity to learn, grow, and walk out a new, challenging, exciting part of life with God.
(2) DO IT IN COMMUNITY. As I was typing this, a friend happened to walk by and we shared the challenges we're each facing in the workplace. We talked about it for a few mins, considered what God had to speak into the situations, prayed, and both left encouraged in about 5 minutes. We don't have the same job, aren't in the same industry, and just met a couple months ago. But relationships like this enable us to encourage one another to keep moving forward and not give up on God's best for life after college and in the workplace.
(3) Connect with mentors (like Scott...or someone on the mentor portal
...or friends a year or two down the road...) who can support you in this season and shed hard-earned wisdom on walking it out well. Sure, you'll want to put your best foot forward. But there's no need to pretend like you have it all together. "I don't know what I don't know...What questions should I be asking?" is a GREAT place to start.
When I was starting my senior year in college, I knew instinctively that it was game time. The moment that I'd been waiting for and delaying: deciding what I was going to do after school. BIG DECISION!
As I start having conversations with seniors around San Diego, I'm realizing that what they need is a roadmap or a checklist for the things they should begin doing and by when. So, here's my attempt!
1. Decide that you're going to do this year well.
You need to make a decision that you're going to make good, healthy choices and do all that you can to transition well. Only you can make that decision- not your parents, friends, or professors. You need to decide that you're going to put the energy this year requires.2. Develop new spiritual habits.
Engaging with God looks different to every season of life. In this season of discernment, decide how, when, and where you're going to engage with God. Enlist a prayer team. Buy a new 'discernment journal'. Spend time reviewing different stories in scripture about calling. Buy a book (Courage and Calling, by Gordon Smith
, or Let Your Life Speak, by Parker Palmer
) and read it with a friend.3. Find a mentor.
Or two. Or four. Mentors can help you reflect on your strengths and abilities and possible career path. They can open up doors for you. They can introduce you to others. 4. Engage on campus.
Do you know what types of students make the best transition to the workplace? The ones who are the most engaged as seniors- in their classes, with professors, in group projects, and at their internship. The ones who develop the deepest and healthiest friendships with peers. Don't be like most seniors who disengage and check out early. Pour into the campus and your life as a student.5. Get an internship.
Research over the past few years is clear that only the students who have the word "internship" on their resume get job offers. Get an internship!! NOW!! Talk with your professors, career services, or inquire with friends, family, and church leaders for connections. An internship (or two) in a relevant field that you plan on going into is obviously key, but even any internship will do. 6. Practice spiritual leadership.
God invites everyone who follows him to have spiritual influence on others. Spiritual leadership in the workplace, however, looks WAY different than it does on campus with college students. But, again, the students who make the strongest and quickest transition are the ones who faithfully take risks in reaching out, blessing others, and starting spiritual conversations with friends, classmates, professors, and internship supervisors. Now, think about this: Wouldn't it be cool if....
- you had an answer when your crazy uncle asks you at Christmas dinner: "So, what are you going to do after you graduate?"??
- you learned new ways to connect with God and your relationship with Him grew??
- your network of friends and mentors actual ends up getting you your first full-time job??
- through your friendship and risk a classmate/professor/friend (or more than just one) starts a relationship with God THIS YEAR and your confidence and trust in God surges into your new professional life??
WHAT WOULD YOU ADD TO THIS LIST?
Seniors, I'm sorry to be the guy with scary news, but: You're going to graduate this year. Yes, 2012 has arrived and so has the time for you to make major decisions about your future.
Are you ready?
Knowing so many of you, I know that you have no clue what you're going to do after you graduate. I also know that you are feeling a certain level of anxiety and fear about the future. I get that.
But I'm not asking you if you know what you're going to do. I'm wondering if you have what it takes to move forward.
To move forward you need to be someone who's willing to take inordinate risks.
Risk that you might make a mistake.
Risk that your parents think you're nuts.
Risk that you don't like what you do, at first.
Risk that you can't find someone to hire you, at first.
Risk that no one else comes with you.
Risk that you're alone, for a little while.
Risk that other people don't think what you're passionate about is important.
Anything significant requires risk. Graduating well requires that you take big risks. Risk, is like a muscle. It needs to grow and stretch and be challenged.
What's a risky thing you can do today to prepare yourself for the bigger risks you'll need to take this year?
Are you trying to figure out what to do with your life- still?
I was sitting with a seasoned bank executive this week having a conversation with him and four college students, and he said something that really stuck out:
"It's a little less relevant than we think it is about the specific job we do. Rather, have a development mindset, find a job at a big company, and go get the core skills you need to be successful for your perfect job down the road.
He thinks that everyone-no matter what you end up doing- needs to have a basic skillset of competencies:
Working in teams.
Working with deadlines.
What if your focus right now shifted from trying to figure out your personality, strengths and passions and a little bit more towards a great job search?
I can't imagine someone saying, "No, actually I'd like to find a job I hardly like."
Everybody wants to know that the time they spend investing their talents, energy, and creativity is well spent. Everybody wants to find the right fit of their passions, interests, abilities, and strengths in a job setting. When we don't have that perfect match, it can feel like torture.
But the problem for many young people is that their Dream Job is probably not an option- right now. Here are a few crucial qualities you need to have if you're not "there yet":
- Patience: realistically you need to learn skills, be certified, gain credibility, and have more wisdom to be in your dream job. I doubt that anyone in their early 20's has the character, wisdom, or skillset to effectively be in their dream job for awhile. What?
Yep, that means you need to have patience. But, as author Henri Nouwen says: "Waiting is essential to the spiritual life. But waiting as a disciple of Jesus is not an empty waiting. It is a waiting with a promise in our hearts that makes already present what we are waiting for."
If you need help growing in patience, let me know and I'll invite you over to try to get somewhere in a hurry with my two year old daughter. Nothing will build patience in you faster.
- Tenacity: just because you need to be patient doesn't mean you can't be persistent and tenacious. Tell everyone about your career goals. If appropriate, let your co-workers or supervisors know what you're hoping to do in the future. Keep your long-term goals in clear view so you remember why you're getting up today.
- Vision: do you know where you're headed? Do you know what your Dream Job would be? If not, I urge you not to blame your current situation on your present discouragement. You need to do the work yourself of clarifying who you are, what you're about, and where you'd like to go. Or, in other words, rarely will your 'calling' just come to you in a dream. You are called, but you need to unwrap the gift, first.
So, time for honest self-assessment. What qualities do you need to build to move towards your Dream Job?
Many, many students and young professionals are struggling to figure out what to do with their lives. The decision is daunting and overwhelming- what to do with your life and how best to live out a meaningful story. I'm seeing a reoccurring mistake made by most young people, and
I'd like to help you avoid it.
You need to figure out THE WHY.
Before you ask what you should do, you need to search within and figure out your answer to the question: why work?
Why are you going to get a job?
Why are you going to wake up every morning and go spend your time, energy, creativity and resources? (for, like, 45 years)
Why are you working?
Chances are, that's a trickier question and not obvious. Answers could be:
- Because I have to
- Because that's what good people to
- Because my parents are making me
- Because I don't know what else to do
- Because I want to live a good life
- Because I want to give back
- Because I believe that I'm wired for a reason, and joy and purpose will be discovered when I live out of that wiring
- Because I want to create beauty
- Because I want to unleash others potential
You get the point.
What's your why?
USD classes start tomorrow, Sept 2. Can you remember your first day of school? Full of anticipation and anxiety, each new year is full of potential of what could be. Especially for those students heading towards graduation this year, what does it look like to take every opportunity to discover your true calling and vocation? Where do you lie on the great debate: is there ONE path to discover, or a blank canvas with a masterpiece waiting to be created? Can business be a spiritual calling? What helps you discover your passions and purpose? Bored with your job? Bored with your major? Unfulfilled with your life? What does faith have to do with it all?