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As a Christian, your faith is the most important aspect of your life. It is the thing that guides your moral compass and teaches you how to live your day to day life. When it comes to your personal and family life, it’s clear to you how your faith aligns, but a lot of people find that the lines are more blurred when it comes to their professional life.
A career driven person has goals and aspirations around work, but a lot of people struggle to marry that with their faith. It’s important that you’re achieving your career goals but you also need to make sure that you’re not compromising on your faith to do that. This leads to a lot of issues and challenges for career-driven Christians, especially women. These are some of the problems that you might face when trying to align your faith with your career.
Education is a very important part of your career. If you’re going to try to progress in your career and reach higher positions, it’s important that you’re qualified. While you might have the qualifications and experience that you need to perform your current role, you may need to pursue higher education if you’re looking to get promoted or apply for higher level jobs. However, that does raise some issues. A lot of higher educational facilities are secular and they don’t necessarily line up with the values and teachings of your faith.
A lot of Christians may also feel quite isolated in a secular educational facility because they don’t have a community of people that share in their faith and that can be quite difficult. When you feel like an outsider in a community, it’s hard to fully engage with that experience. Education isn’t just about learning, it’s about a shared experience with your peers and a Christian in a secular facility isn’t always going to have that shared experience. In that case, you might consider attending an online Christian college rather than a secular college. You’ll still be able to take the relevant degree programs that you need to further your career but you can do it in a setting that aligns with your faith. You won’t need to worry about compromising on your values and you’ll also still be engaged with the wider Christian community while you’re going through education.
Depending on the branch of Christianity that you follow, there may be traditional roles that you are expected to follow. Some Christians believe that motherhood is the highest calling for women and that is how they can best serve their God. If you have a family, you’re still fulfilling that role but if you also have a career, you don’t fit neatly into that idea of a female Christian and that can cause some conflict when it comes to following your faith. It’s worth noting that the majority of Christians are not opposed to the idea of women having a career and it will only be a small subset of people that have a negative view of your decision to pursue a career, but it can still be problematic.
A lot of people have an internal conflict here because they worry about caring for their family effectively and working at the same time. However, it really comes down to your personal interpretation of your faith. If you believe that you can still care for your family effectively and work at the same time, you needn’t worry about it. Everybody follows their God in different ways and as long as you’re confident that you’re not compromising on your faith by working, that’s fine.
The Christian Community
Being involved in your local Christian community is a very important part of your faith. The best way to prove your devotion to God is through action, and that often comes in the form of work that you do with your church and the wider Christian community. In some cases, your pursuit of a career can cause problems here. If you’re part of a Christian community that puts a lot of value into traditional household roles, it’s likely that a lot of the women in your church will be stay-at-home mothers. When people are in a social setting, they tend to group together with people that have something in common with them so they can discuss shared experiences. A lot of Christian women that are very career focused may find that they feel isolated in these situations because their day to day lives are different from a lot of their peers at the church. However, it’s important to remember that, while you may have different lives, you still have a lot of things in common with your fellow Christians. You all share the same values and commitment to God and that’s what you should focus on.
A lot of career driven people also struggle with their active role in the Church. Setting up fundraisers or helping out with Sunday school etc. are all great ways that you can serve the Church and God, but if you’re working a lot, you might not have as much time to do that. There is also a chance that you’ll be overlooked for important positions in the church because it is assumed that you don’t have the time to dedicate to it. What you need to remember is that, while being an active member of the Church is an important part of being a Christian, it’s not the only way to follow your faith. Being a good Christian isn’t just about helping out at church, it’s about promoting and following those values in all areas of your life. So, help out with the Church as much as you can, but also find other ways that you can be a good Christian outside of that.
If you’re not enacting your faith through participation in church activities, it’s important that you find other ways to do that. When you’re looking for jobs, there is always a worry that you are going to compromise your faith because the values of the company don’t line up with your Christian values. There are a lot of businesses out there that don’t operate in an ethical way and if you’re working for them, it may lead you to compromise your beliefs. It’s also important that you’re dedicating your time to helping others and there are a lot of companies where that just isn’t the case. However, helping others and having a career don’t have to be mutually exclusive, there are plenty of ethical businesses out there.
When you’re trying to find a job, you should consider looking into charity organizations. You can still have a successful career but you can also be confident in the knowledge that your hard work is helping other people. Even if you don’t work for a charity and you decide to work for a private business, there are still plenty out there that are more ethical. It’s important that you do a lot of research into companies before you apply for a job. Look for companies that have a good relationship with local charities and use a lot of their profits to help others. If you choose wisely, you can find a business that offers good career opportunities without compromising on your Christian values.
Being kind to others and treating them with respect is at the core of the Christian faith and in your personal life, it’s easier to stick to that, especially when you’re interacting with other Christians that have the same values. However, in the workplace, it can be more difficult. Workplace gossip and disputes are an issue in most companies and there will be people that will try to draw you into that by talking about people behind their backs. It can be difficult to know how to deal with this and if you try to counteract somebody’s bad words by saying how much you value and respect the colleague that they’re talking about, that can still be misconstrued as you getting involved in office gossip. The best thing to do is to not say anything and try to change the conversation. If you do this every time workplace gossip comes up, people will get the hint and stop trying to involve you.
If the problem doesn’t go away and people are still trying to get you to partake in office gossip, it’s best to speak to your boss about it. You don’t have to get people in trouble but just go to them and say that some of your colleagues are talking badly about their coworkers and it’s making you feel uncomfortable. Your boss can then just reinforce company guidelines about gossip and hopefully, it will stop.
Being a Christian woman in the workplace can be difficult and there are a lot of issues and career challenges that you’re going to face. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be a career driven person and a good Christian at the same time.