Practicing Hope in the Work I Do For Pay – By Erika Taibl. Member blog post, Day 6

I changed jobs this year.

For three years, I worked in communications for a Fortune 200 food and agriculture company. I had challenging and good work to do. I had opportunities to learn and grow. I worked with talented people. I was compensated well. I was rising in the company, and I felt a connection to the purpose of feeding people, plants and animals. It is a great company and I had a great experience, and I left.

This fall, I traded an enticing climb on the corporate ladder at a growing company for a job at a non-profit health care system embarking on a transformation journey. I was returning—after a previous 10-year stint—invited back to lead the system’s communication team. Despite industry and organizational challenges, I felt called back to a mission I’m deeply aligned with as I took a step forward in my career.

My decision makes sense to some people and seems totally nuts to others.

Health care is at the center of some of the most challenging issues our country faces and there is huge stress on care providers. I’ve been back for a few months, and already there have been tough topics to communicate and hard choices to make in order to sustain and advance care for the future. At times, I feel a crowding darkness. It certainly feels different to me than planning for a Super Bowl sponsorship or a new product launch.

In every job I’ve had and every organization I’ve been a part of, I’ve looked for ways to live my faith. I think of this as practicing hope. These days, more than ever, I feel surrounded by opportunities to practice hope as we tackle big issues, work to keep care of people at the center and lean into creating a better future. In addition to the opportunities to practice hope, I am surrounded by people who show me, every day, how to practice hope. They provide light when I feel darkness.

A lot of us wrestle with the work we do for pay and how it connects to our faith. We’re not all called to vocations where the connections seem clear. Some of us have talents where making connections to faith can feel hard, and we walk career paths that are fraught with temptations and distractions. Conversations I had with other Gloria Dei members this year about faith and work helped me in discernment process. They helped me practice hope and were light to illuminate my vocational path.

In my new job and in so many aspects of my life, I am experiencing this idea of practicing hope as something I do for and by myself . . . and something I can’t do without other people. If you’re thinking about a job change or striving to find stronger connections between the work you do for pay and your faith, let me know. We can practice hope together.