Katelyn Beaty: Work and faith advice from a real-life Rory Gilmore

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Have you ever wondered about life after Bethel? Have you ever been curious about the jobs you might have and about who you might impact with your presence?

Katelyn Beaty was the youngest person, as well as the first woman, to work as an editor-at-large with Christianity Today, and is now currently a freelance editor, writer and author. She is a truth seeker who became who she was because she persevered through her struggles with anxiety and applied for the tough jobs, instead of giving up or taking the comfortable options.

She states that she found her place by realizing she “really enjoyed producing a publication that would serve a broader community and would start important conversations in a larger community.”

Beaty stated that that’s what she feels newspapers were originally intended to do. “(They were originally meant) to serve as a local place of conversation,” she said. “It was fulfilling to see the way the student newspaper provided that on Calvin’s campus.” This started her passion that would carry her through her vocation. Beaty offered graduating Bethel students this advice: “It’s ok not to know where exactly you want to land in terms of your first job or even your second or third job,” she said. “It’s increasingly common for many Americans to change career multiple times over their lives, so I would just relieve some pressure to college graduates to say you don’t have to choose one field and stay in it for the next fifty years.” Beaty said that this sort of thinking gives students freedom to discern what they really want to do, but admitted that such freedom may come at the cost of increased anxiety about making the right choice over the whole process. “I think there’s something to be said specifically for whatever you’re doing, and to do it well and work hard and put your head down and do the work,” she said. “There’s a lot of Christian college graduates that hear a lot about changing the world and working for non-profits or going down the missionary field, that we feel that what it means to live a life for God is to do something dramatic and big, and, yet, I think that so often the way that we value and serve God is in the daily moments of excellence, of honoring your co-workers, of showing up to work on time—honoring our commitments to the company or to our co-workers, of managing our money well.” In Beaty’s book, “A Woman’s Place: A Christian Vision for Your Calling in the Office, the Home, and the World,” she discusses the conflicts between faith and work, especially from the perspective of women. She states that she wrote her book because she “noticed there was a lot of conversation about separation of faith and work and kind of asking what (faith has) to do with our day to day work in the office, or on a college campus, or its faculty or a coffee shop. But I also noticed that there weren’t that many women voices in these conversations, but that they were predominately male and white. So, I wanted to approach this topic from a woman’s perspective, and also to write for women who find a lot of meaning and spiritual fulfillment in their work. Your professional work is part of what it means to bear God’s image as a woman.” Beaty said that she felt there was a void in the church as a whole. She hoped that her writing would help to fill that void. “The first pages of Scripture, we see that God puts Adam and Eve in the garden,” she said. “…The first humans are given the job of stewardship and tending the garden, and this is even before the fall—this is before sin has entered the world. So, I believe that anytime we… cultivate any elements of creation or culture and we’re stewarding it with excellence and integrity in a way of serving and going deeper, we are reflecting God’s good and original intentions of work.” (Photo courtesy of www.katelynbeaty.com)
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