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?
After spending a couple years focusing on helping graduating seniors make a good transition from student life to 'real life', it's time to start checking in with a few of them about their lives post-college.
Steven Yuan stands out as a guy doing his best to lean forward into living life well. He's passionate, creative, and very entrepreneurial. It's been a blast to watch Steven experiment with his career and throw out more than a few lines into the water to see what he catches. Enjoy this snapshot into his life, and take a few moments both to pray for Steven but also to reflect on what his life sparks in you:
SS: Tell us about your career path since you graduated from UCSD, specifically the twists and turns that you didn't expect or plan on when you were still in school:
SY: Since graduating, I've bounced from your typical office job doing graphic and web design, to campus ministry, to start-up competitions, to music production, to even my own t-shirt company. It's been a year of trying many different things, and feeling out my different passions.
I honestly think the most unexpected twists and turns came from the people I met. Just talking to people I normally wouldn't, and letting them know what I wanted to do, connected me with so many random people that took me down so many unexpected but exciting paths. One of the highlights was my friend Eileen, whom I met through a couple of mutual friends. She was extremely involved in the music industry and I didn't know anything about the SD music scene, but within a couple of weeks of sitting and chatting I was playing a show downtown, meeting all these crazy DJs and producers.
SS: What have you learned about yourself since graduating that you wish you knew back in school?
SY: I think the main thing I learned about myself was the entrepreneurial flair I have. I wish I knew that earlier before I embarked on pursuing a major in art haha, I think I would have joined a lot more clubs related to that as well.
SS: Being a creative type, how does your creativity intersect with your faith?
SY: Oh man where do I even begin? I think the idea of even being able to create is key component the the basis of my faith. I have been created by a God that loves creation. And because of that, I have been given the awe-inspiring right to create just like my maker can create. That is an mind-bending truth that He has instilled in me.
In addition, a big portion of my creativity stems from idea creation and making connections. So everywhere I go, I constantly see ways that Jesus connects in this way or that. Or I'll randomly think of new ways that people can encounter God and meet with Him. I feel as if my creativity intersects with my faith by allowing me to see how God Himself intersects with the world around me in unexpected ways.
SS: We know that God is into changing the whole world, but what's the specific slice that gets you fired up the most?
SY: There are many "slices" that move me, but I think the slice that gets me fired up the most is when people are redeemed of their sense of worth, and concurrently when people see what they are capable of in terms of loving others. I think a good example of this comes from my time doing campus ministry. One of the people on a team I was leading had come to faith his freshman year - I still remember speaking to him before he was a believer. While on media comma team his third year, a dream of his was to shoot a documentary about a thriving homeless community that worshipped and fellowshipped downtown on a regular basis. By the end of his time on the team, the dream had become a reality in the form of a 45 minute documentary detailing the lives of the homeless leaders and student leaders that had partnered together to make the fellowship a reality. Stepping back and seeing the transformation from when I first spoke to him freshman year to when he finished the documentary, I was blown away by how God had transformed this man to transform others. And I was blown away that I could be a part of that. This is just one for a few stories that really capture what gets me fired up. Stories of people realizing their potential to be used by God.
SS: What's challenged your faith the most since you graduated?
SY: The most challenging thing for me since I've graduated has actually been grappling with the feeling of needing to be accomplished in some shape or form. Often times, I feel like I don't have enough time to do the things I want to do, or I feel like I am falling behind in the goals I want to achieve. I feel that especially in our American culture of striving for excellence, I often get caught up in focusing my energy on my own abilities as opposed to focusing on what God is capable of. So I get discouraged easily when I compare myself to my peers who seem to be "farther along" in life than I.
SS: In what ways have you seen God use you to impact others through your work, and where do you feel like God might want to increase your influence?
SY: I think the most tangible example I have of God using me to impact others has been while I was doing music production and performance. The underground music scene wasn't necessarily a place of very much light, but I was able to bring of piece of that light just by being there and being a friend. There was one time when one of the local producers committed suicide and it rocked the music scene in San Diego. I was able to attend his memorial and though I didn't necessarily share the gospel to everyone, I was able to be there with his friends and his family to shed a bit of God's love and peace. In terms of where he might want me to increase my influence, I believe that he wants me to bring more of His presence into the office I work at presently. He's been calling me to be more relational with my co-workers and just get to know people. I feel like He's leading me through a season of what it looks like to be a co-worker that not only does his work well, but is also genuinely caring of the people he works with.
SS: What advice would you give for a college student getting ready to graduate and trying to figure out what to do? What should they consider when thinking about life after school?
- Try new and different things, you can't find your passion until you try it!
- Focus on where God is bringing you, not on where you need to be compared to your peers.
- Find an accountability group that can help you process and discern what God has been doing in your workplace
- Be attentive to the opportunities that God presents to you, whether that be in making relationships or in moving forward in your career.
- Pray daily, you will be able to hear God clearer.
- Take Sabbaths, you will not regret it. You are never too busy to spend time with God.
- Expect change, life after college is exactly that: Life after college. The 9 to 5 is very different than college life. Don't dread it, just be ready to adapt.
- Finally, rejoice in every circumstance! No matter what God is bringing you through, he is gonna bring you through it. Keep your eyes on the hope that is in Jesus Christ and you won't falter. "3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." Romans 5:3-5
Oops. One of my main theories about helping students graduate well- as fully mature, developed, and focused Christian leaders- is WRONG.
I was thinking (and putting lots of time/strategy/effort) that if we can help students discover their unique wiring, calling, and purpose, then they will be launched. --Notice lots and lots of writing here
But, that's definitely not
the whole story or best answer.
Self-awareness and self-discovery is amazing, assuming it doesn't lead to self-absorption. Recovering the passions deep inside, understanding how I'm uniquely gifted, recognizing the skills I have and how to put them to use- it's all good.
But I'm finding that many people are still stuck.
Stuck in insecurity. Stuck in fear. Stuck in anxiety.
What does it look like to get unstuck? To dive into the even deeper, more hidden parts of ourselves and give God's spirit access to heal, free, transform, and speak truth to lies?
What if there was a way to be truly set free and step into the potential that God is giving us, to become our truest and best selves and make major impact for good?
Would you go there?
Would you dive in?
It's that time of year again: graduating students on campuses all across the country are starting the get eye twitches, nightmares, and anxiety attacks.
Because they're graduating and HAVE NO CLUE WHAT TO DO NEXT!!
Hey, it's not your fault. It's a a generational thing, a shortcoming in our educational system, a flaw in your parents support of you...or something like that.
At any rate, it's time for you to figure out WHAT THE HECK YOU'RE GOING TO BE DOING IN 2 MONTHS!!!
Up until now, the track has been certain. But now...
You're focused on wrapping up the last few weeks of classes. Still working on major group projects and thesis papers. Hopeful that you actually have enough units to graduate. Wondering what your friends are going to do. Considering where you're going to live...
Conventional wisdom (most likely from your parents) would say that you should evaluate your best career path based on your field of study. Zoom in on the opportunities before you based on the trajectory your on.
But what if you take more than a few moments to ZOOM OUT?
Take a look at your life in its entirety.
What are some common themes and patterns that you see? Interests that you forgot about. Causes you've always been passionate about. What story has your life been telling up until this point? Even broader, what line of work is in your bloodline, passed on to you from your parents, grandparents, etc? How has your ethnicity, gender, geographic location, culture, and more shaped you and formed you for something in the future?
When you zoom out in your life, what do you see differently?
I'm in love with golf. I play courses in my imagination while I go to sleep. I play golf as often as I can. I bought my son a set of golf clubs just after he learned how to walk. I engineer my work schedule around golf. I've taken trips just to play golf. And, I'm one of the rare golfers who loves watching golf on tv. Admittedly, I've watched nearly every round of professional golf in 2012 (that's Thursday-Sunday, every week). This week happens to be my favorite week of the year- the Masters. While I watch the Masters on tv, I also have it streaming live on my computer AND iPad- count that, three different views of the tournament. (Yes, I have the Masters app on my phone, too, for when I'm on the road...)
I love golf.
What do you love?
What are you passionate about?
I have friends who share the same level of passion for the stock market, for running marathons, for basketball, for cooking, and for art.
What are you supposed to do with those passions? Should they inform and shape what career path you choose?
Or maybe not.
Maybe your passions are supposed to guide you in your work. Or maybe they're supposed to stay on the sidelines- as hobbies, interests, and the weekend. Maybe, and most likely, God's given you passions for you to enjoy life and participate in enjoying the world He's created.
What do you think?
When trying to navigate through the treacherous world of the workplace and stay on course with who you're called to be, there's one trait that will serve you more than anything else:
You will be pushed, prodded, pressured, isolated and questioned.
You will get difficult feedback.
You will forget why you're here.
You will have a really, really bad day.
And a meaningless week.
You will discover that your college degree didn't prepare you for this.
You will find people lapping you in promotion, development and success.
But you must bounce back. You must find a way to be singularly focused and galvanized towards who you're shaped to be.
Find a couple of friends who will commit to holding you on course.
Write your goals down.
Spend time every month imagining who you could become if you stayed on track for another five or ten years.
Figure out what you need to become the best version of you, and then be relentlessly intentional about making it happen.
It's your life, your responsibility.
Today at USD's campus, Bob Goff
will be kicking off our inaugural 'Thriving in Business' series of events with a message called: Secretly Incredible Leadership. Our hope with these events is to elevate the conversation at USD's School of Business about calling and what it means to live life well. Students are deeply wrestling with what to do in the future, and most if not all would say that they're pretty lost. Here are their biggest desires: - Find a "meaningful" job -
Avoid a job that "sucks" - Work/Life balance - Be developed - Have opportunity to advance into leadershipBig goals, and important desires. Bob's way of life inspires students to not just do awesome things for the sake of looking cool, but rather to "Be awesome".
He suggests taking a bigger bite out of life and pursuing Jesus into a life of adventure and impact that changes the world. For him, the part of faith that involves thinking and talking is important, but what really matters is the "do part of faith".
If you'd like to get to know Bob better, and go deeper in your own conversation about what it means to live life well, I highly recommend Don Miller's book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
. Bob is one of the main characters and the book will not only teach you about what a good story is, but also how to live your life like it's a good story worth reading. What kind of story do you want your life to tell?
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?