As the medium becomes increasingly digital, career opportunities in writing and editing have grown scarcer. Never a pursuit to yield high compensation, the professional prospects for my editorial peers and I are as dim as they have ever been.
It’s challenging to have your work published, more daunting still to be paid anything for it and the ratio of full-time positions applied for to responses — much less interviews or job offers — received is often several dozen to one. And that’s if you’re successful.
At 26, with 3 years of experience and one full-time editorial job under my belt, it’d seem the least advisable decision would be to turn down a position with a Washington Metropolitan Area publication that is read and appreciated by thousands of people a day and millions each month, but here I am.
By nature, I’ve always embraced opportunities and felt that God Himself ordained their timing, as though they were gifts. As such, I’m most vexed when I must agonize over multiple paths forward. This March, I was presented with a choice, at the center of which was the concept of work-life balance.
To take a job in Arlington, Va. and advance my career would have meant a departure from the home I’ve known, and the family, friends and dog I love. The financial considerations of living in a more expensive place notwithstanding, the move represented a serious shift in my life outside of work, to the degree that it was unclear what else I’d be doing.
Although I’m sure that’s a scenario faced by most single people who pack up and move for new jobs, it was one I could never feel completely settled about. And it’s why, when another place I’d applied to expressed an interest in me, I chose to (at least temporarily) step away from something I sincerely considered a dream.
In accepting the role of Volunteer Coordinator at the Atlantic City Rescue Mission, I didn’t just ensure a “balance” between my day job and recreation; I also managed to combine my personal faith with my professional skills.
The truth is, as John Bevere puts it, “There is nothing good for you outside of God.” Fortunes fade away, fame is forgotten and kingdoms of stone or brick and mortar will surely fall apart. All that truly matters is what I can do today, tomorrow and for however many years I have on Earth to share and live out the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ. Nothing more, nothing less.
I was created by God, for His pleasure and purpose. And before I received any offer from a rescue mission, I was called by Him to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless and love my neighbors. While I am blessed to be paid a livable salary to put this call into action, the greatest privilege is the ability to be a source of light and hope to those in need, many of whom reside in the building where I work.
Who needs more balance than that?