Wondering if it is possible to be successful as a Christian in a secular marketplace? Today, I am sharing a conversation I had with my friend, Kristen Engen. Kristen is coming to us from the corporate world where she ministers and works with Christian women who are in corporate and helps them to confidently walk out the calling God has put on their life in that secular marketplace. I let Kristen tell you the rest.
You can listen to the whole conversation here:
Being a Christian in the Corporate World
I have had the absolute blessing of working for two of the largest retailers in in the world. They are two of the top Fortune 50 companies, where I managed over 850 million dollars per year programs. I really enjoyed that work, and yet I saw that there was an opportunity to really reach out to faith-led women in corporate America, but I wasn't sure how.
God had put that on my heart for a few years. When I knew that He was calling me out, He made me aware that there was what we call white space in corporate America. White space is when there is a gap somewhere. I saw that there weren't quite as many players when it came to really supporting faith-led women in corporate America who are high achievers. I always jokingly say they're overachievers, driven, and have huge hearts, but there's not necessarily a space for them in the church.
These women don't have a place where they feel that people understand them because the church seems to be more cookie cutter towards what a Christian woman should look like. right Sometimes we don't necessarily fit into what that mold looks like. But, I realized, with my background, I understood her. With things that are happening with the climate in America these days as far as layoffs and restructuring corporate America women need a reminder that God is absolutely still on the throne.
How Can I be a Good Christian in the Workplace?
With everything that we're experiencing there is an opportunity to work with these women to first of all make sure that they feel empowered. Also that they're able to go in and shift the atmosphere of the rooms that they walk into in corporate America which are mainly secular. They can do it in a way that is not waving your Jesus flag everywhere you go. Let's be real that's not professional.
Also, if they are in a position where they're wanting to shift their career, make a pivot, do something different that's something that I also feel called to help them through. I feel led because I understand what it's like to be in a job where you're just in misalignment. You're working really long, late hours and you're not seeing your children, your husband, or your family members. You're missing a lot of key events in your life. You know that this can't be what God had planned for you.
How to be a Christian Employee
So those are the two areas where I really feel called and led to work with faith-led women in corporate America. I think probably one of the biggest struggles, that she may not even realize, is that you can be so exhausted and so caught up with what the world is telling you that success looks like. I want to be abundantly clear, I am all for having big goals. I'm all for having the title, the salary, and the list of accomplishments that the Lord has asked you to go forth and conquer.
However, when you are in corporate America, I think the challenge then becomes that your entire identity is wrapped up in your title, your salary, and your list of accomplishments. You then can kind of get into a cycle that gets you on the hamster wheel of constantly feeling that you need to perform constantly, that you need to be good enough. That's where I want to work with women.
How to Glorify God at Work
I want them to realize that their good enoughness comes from Jesus. Their good enoughness comes from the amazing skills and abilities that He is bestowed upon them. So the reality is that the vast majority of faith-led women, really all women, in corporate America are striving, working really hard and want to make sure that they're continuing to deliver.
If they don't deliver, then it's like this emotional yo-yo where they start to feel bad. Then you feel shame and then start to feel regret. So, what do you do is double down and start working harder because you don't want to feel that way again. You can just get stuck on this cycle. So we need to break that cycle. In my opinion, once you break that cycle your identity is in Christ. Then you can be unstoppable in corporate America.
Honoring God with Your Work
I love it! Thank you, Kristen for sharing. I can only imagine how women in corporate must also face a different level of stress and pressure to compete, especially in a primarily secular marketplace. I'm not one of those who believes that a Christian can only serve Christians in their business or that your business has to imprint Bible verses on everything it produces. I believe God has uniquely gifted us in different places, to have jobs in a ministry, on a mission field of a secular marketplace or the corporate world like you're sharing. We all have our own unique Flamingo Advantage and our highest form of worship is to embrace it and walk out that calling God has placed on our hearts.