Indulge endlessly in all that inspires your soul. You’ll never get bored.

“When we submit to God’s plans, we can trust our desires. Our assignment is found at the intersection of God’s plan and our pleasures… Each of us has been made to serve God in a unique way… The longings of your heart, then, are not incidental; they are critical messages. The desires of your heart are not to be ignored; they are to be consulted. As the wind turns the weather vane, so God uses your passions to turn your life. God is too gracious to ask you to do something you hate.”

As Christians, we are taught to follow God’s Plan for our lives, and ask for His guidance when we feel lost. Mere months after getting the promotion I asked and worked hard for, I found myself, instead, being pulled down a different, but old and familiar path. So I prayed, asking God for a sign. Days later, I read the devotional above, and knew the path I felt compelled to walk again is exactly where God was leading me.

A year ago, I left my news job in Lubbock to live out my life in Austin. “You’ll miss it,” one coworker told me my final day. Though the possibility of that becoming truth couldn’t formulate in my mind at the time, his words never left me. Now, just 12 months later, I was feeling pulled back into the newsroom. I did miss it.

“The meaning of life is to find your gift; the purpose is to give it away.” I’m not sure whether to attribute the quotation to Pablo Picasso, William Shakespeare, or some other person, but it seemed fitting, reading it the same week I was offered a job back in news – this time where I feel most at home, in Austin. The process of applying, interviewing, and accepting the offer went so quickly, I knew I was not only following the desires of my heart, but also the path God created for my life.

“Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.”

God wants us to thrive, so everyone sees the beauty of Him, through us. I left the news industry because I felt discouraged and distraught, but that doesn’t mean being a part of the industry wasn’t part of God’s Plan; it just wasn’t His timing. I believe God puts passions on our hearts as signs, leading us down the path He has mapped out for our lives. If you wake up each morning and ask yourself what God’s Purpose is for your life, take a moment to think about the scenarios you daydream about, what inspires you, and what persuades you to be a better version of yourself. I truly believe living in Austin and working for the news are two passions God placed on my heart for very deliberate purposes, and at very deliberate times.
And I couldn’t be more grateful that He did.

Happiness to Last

“Is happiness merely a passing emotion, or a permanent state?”
In my daily devotion book yesterday, it explained, both states exist.

“There is happiness that reacts to events (this is temporary and volatile), and there is happiness that overrules circumstances (which is strong and lasting).”

I’ve been asking for happiness for some time now, without realizing there are two solutions to my desire – one less satisfying than the other.

Be happy... not because everything is good, but because you see the good in everything.

Events create temporary happiness: moving to Austin and getting a job. But in the days or weeks after the event, happiness can fade; it’s the lasting happiness that satisfies, and that comes from The Lord.

I think the same principle can be applied to marketing. I’ve been searching for a content marketing position for months, after learning of its lasting effects. I’ve been on job interviews that focus solely on sales and numbers, but that ideology is like temporary happiness. After a few days or weeks, you are looking for your next sale or event to make you and your client happy again.

While ultimately business growth is viewed from a numbers standpoint, content marketing works to grow businesses by creating relationships with clients. This is accomplished by writing blog posts or ebooks, creating videos or infographics, and attracting clients with a clean website.

All these content marketing strategies show transparency and build trust. Because of that trust, clients are more loyal and the numbers follow. This is a stronger foundation to build businesses on, and will create a lasting happiness for both you and your client.

Moving to Austin was great, but living here is what keeps me happy each morning. Getting a job will be great, but growing and learning in the position, creating friendships, and meeting goals is what will keep me engaged and happy walking into the office each day.

Lasting happiness comes from knowing you are following God’s path, and you are in the right spot for the time being, even if you aren’t happy at the moment. While I wish I had a job right now, I feel satisfied knowing that moving to Austin was the right decision. This weekend presented overwhelming tasks at times, but when I asked myself if I regretted the decision, it was a resounding “no.”

The happiness I experience from moving to Austin will last, and I believe more lasting happiness will come my way.

Your present circumstances don't determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start

Change: Finding Who I Am

Today I say goodbye to the place and life I’ve known for the last five years. Moving out of state for college, knowing no one, was one of the best and most liberating decisions I have ever made. It allowed me to find myself and decide how I wanted to live my life.

After switching majors, traveling the state, country and world, graduating, and working a few different jobs, I’m closer to finding my happiness, and how I want to live out the next phase of my life.

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I’m moving to Austin to live out the lifestyle I love. I’ll be surrounded by young professionals like myself, exploring and enjoying life to the fullest; working jobs that teach them new things and spending evenings on the lake, at a new restaurant, or with friends.

I’m looking forward to discovering the city and myself.
Change can be good. Don’t be afraid to try something new.

Brand yourself

During my year-long job search, I’ve learned a few things; it doesn’t matter if you have the skills listed in a job posting, employers are looking for more than just someone who can fulfill each bullet point. A few years back, Forbes reported, millennials stay at a job, on average, less than three years, and will have 15-20 jobs during their lifetime.

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This job-hopping trend has created the need for workplace culture – or an environment that will entice employees to stick around. Often companies will brag about free break room snacks or flexible working conditions, like the ability to work from home a certain number of days each week, in order to come out on top in the minds of recent graduates.
So how to employers determine if a certain candidate would be a good fit with the company and its workplace culture? By exploring how you brand yourself.

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Below are three places you can brand yourself online that will catch the eye of employers.

† Start a personal blog

Personal blogs are both a great way to show off your writing skills and what’s on your mind, but don’t use this outlet the same way you did your 5th-grade diary. Research and write about something relevant to the industry you are looking at entering. What changes are leaders making and how are they making them? What are consumers interested it and how are they reacting to the changes? In the communications field, I’m constantly looking for new ways to tell and share compelling stories. Social media and multimedia are popular among consumers, but I’m also concerned with how to engage my audience, such as through the use of mobile apps.If you don’t feel confident enough to tackle an industry-related post, you can write about a less serious but still professional topic, on something that may interest your employer, its employees, or its clients. Think about community events or volunteer opportunities that encourage involvement.

You don’t want all your effort to go to waste. If you ever wonder why some posts or writers gain such popularity, leaving you with less love, check out “The Science Behind What Content Goes Viral.”

Here’s a list of reasons why people are drawn into certain personal blogs:

▪ The post sufficiently covers the topic it addresses. Puny points don’t speak well of your ability to write long-form, thorough content.
▪ It evokes strong emotion. People are more likely to engage in your post (comment) if they are surprised, humored or angered by it. Feel good posts are great but what can a reader say about a positive post that can’t be summed up with an emoji?
▪ It educates your readers about a topic. If your post is interesting or causes the audience to think, it’s more likely to gain devoted readers that discuss topics with you.

† Utilize social media

It probably goes without saying that you shouldn’t post drunken photos to Facebook or Instagram, but creating an online presence that shows your personality is important because it allows your audience to get to know you.

▪ Share your blog posts on Twitter.
▪ Update old friends about your life on Facebook.
▪ Post a picture of your afternoon at a museum to Instagram.

† Complete your LinkedIn profile

Employers are obviously going to be interested in your work history, but the social media site also allows you to add classes you’ve taken, hobbies you enjoy, and volunteer experience onto your profile. All those little “extras” help tell a more complete story of who you are, and whether you’d be a good fit with a company.

Find yourself looking for a new job? Try boosting your resume and cover letter game with these non-traditional methods.

Letting every situation be what it is

As I get ready to move across the state, without a job secured, I’m encouraged and remembered by those around me that this truly is the right move. As fearful as I am, I have never for a moment regretted my decision. But when others encourage me to follow my dream to move to Austin, the one thing I do disagree with is the notion of “doing what you love.”

The Atlantic recently posted an article criticizing the “Do What you Love” advice, in regards to work. In my quest for full-time employment, I’ve read through hundreds of postings promising fully-stocked kitchen cafes, weekly office happy hours, and brand new Apple laptops. I’ve seen dozens of Twitter and Instagram accounts with employees enjoying impromptu food truck lunches and the unveiling of ping pong tables. There’s an image in millennials’ minds that work has to be fun in order to get fulfillment from it.

I really feel like it comes out of post-World War II prosperity. The Protestant work ethic is work, work, work—work is a calling, work is virtuous. I felt like that was with us for a long time, but pleasure never factored into that much.
But then come the Baby Boomer generation—you have the wars seemingly over and there’s a lot of prosperity, though it’s been spread pretty broadly throughout society. And that gave people the opportunity to indulge themselves a little bit. And within the U.S. particularly, there arose a culture of self: thinking about what makes me happy and how to improve myself. [I argue that the] virtue strain of work and the self strain of work combined in the late 1970s and 1980s, and in a way pleasure-seeking became the virtue.

An interesting point from the article is the question of what it is you aren’t seeing in the Twitter and Instagram pictures. It’s only the glamorous work that gets glorified, so what does an average work day look like at a particular company? What is it they aren’t showing, and what is it that makes the company’s employees come to work each day?

I do want to find work that I love each day, but that doesn’t mean I’ll actually love what I’m doing. If I did what I loved, I’d be sipping spiked-lemonade on the beach or travelling around Europe. Work is called work for a reason, but we don’t have to hate clocking in each morning. Most job postings list ideal traits as “open-minded,” “curious,” or as the article points out, “passionate.” How do these translate into personalities conveyed in interviews, though? How can I prove I’m “open-minded” or “passionate?”
One reason for this requirement, the writer points to, is because employees don’t want employees to complain. Another chimed in saying we are greedy, always demanding happiness, and not accepting someone having a bad day.

I feel like this whole culture of feeling good too is just really kind of hedonistic. And I also feel like it’s a little bit dark. There’s almost something in it to me that speaks of like addiction or something. We can never be at just baseline contentment. We always have to be relentlessly seeking these “good feelings.”

I don’t believe in the notion of “doing what you love.” Soon enough, the pursuit and need to work will overshadow the passion you feel toward the hobby or activity, and you are left with one less thing you enjoy.
Instead, I want to find work that makes me grow as a person. I want a job that challenges me, teaches me new things, and forces me to struggle at times. I’m not going to love all those moments, but I’m going to appreciate them; I’m going to feel a sense of accomplishment from my work.image15 (3)

Why do you think people need an excuse to work? Why can’t we just go to work to make money?

I have wondered that. And one of the things I want to do is celebrate the job that just pays the rent. I feel like that is so maligned in our present culture.
I think work is where we spend a lot of our lives. And we wed our identities so tightly to our job titles in the U.S. You don’t want your identity to be someone who just puts in eight hours and checks out.

Why do you work? What do you want from your career?IMG_0719 (2)

Follow your heart, and follow your head

This month, I will be leaving my job to move to Austin. This is my dream, though doing so without a job wasn’t included in my plan. A friend told me, maybe I’m supposed to go without a job, and after applying from afar for a year without success, I think she may be right. This could be God’s way of making me trust him.

Getting a job out of college in the field you studied may appear to the world that you are “on the right path,” but only you know what’s right for you. While I am thankful for the experiences I’ve had, I’m ready to find a balance in my life. I’m ready to live the life I am supposed to, discovering new things and enjoying each day, rather than simply going through the motions.
Austin makes me want to be a better person. It opens my mind to new ways of thinking. It makes me want to reach out and help others. It makes me want to grow in my faith. It makes want to live an active and healthy life. It makes me happy.

“You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try.”

Will I fail? Maybe. Does that scare me? Unbelievable. But I am confident in myself, and will trust The Lord.

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A Lasting Effect

“Everything is historic, because it happens and then it’s history.”

That (or something like that) was a direct quotation from a co-worker today, joking about how many times the word “historic” was used when predicting the snowstorm along the Northeast coast earlier this week. Turns out it wasn’t so historic for most residents, but if you break it down, sure – everything is history after it happens. It doesn’t have to be distant or ancient history to matter.

In the news business, someone once told me, what we are doing is recording history. Years from now, we can look at old newscasts and relive this day. When you want information about something, you can look it up in a newspaper, search the topic online and see how news stations or social media users covered it.
Looking at my job from the perspective that it’s more than just a daily newscast was significant. It puts more pressure on me to produce shows that mean something later, but it’s also more rewarding. The work that I am doing now could be used to inform generations not yet born.

We all know it’s important to record history so we can learn from it. I’m happy to be a part of something that lasting.