Stacey Carruth felt like a failure until she discovered that her lack of experience was what she needed most to succeed as a journalist.

July 11, 2022 8:49 pm

By Shelley Hunter

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Listen to the Episode

A Decade-Long Discovery Process

Before becoming a journalist, Stacey Carruth started a lengthy investigation into her own career--only she didn't see it that way at the time. She only saw failure.

After serving a mission for
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a young adult, Stacey returned to college at Brigham Young University. Though she had started her post-secondary education as a science major ("to prove she was smart"), her thoughts changed while on her mission. She recalls, "I discovered a whole new area of life that sparked me and sparked my interest. I loved learning languages. I loved talking to people. I loved learning about the culture and what causes people to make the decisions they do or live the way they do."

This change of heart led Stacey to change her major to Latin American studies. A campus event called "
The Hunger Banquet" prompted her to lean further into helping people in developing countries.

But practicality won out. Nervous about being in college for so long and needing to make money, Stacey switched her major back to clinical laboratory science so she could graduate as soon as possible.

After graduation, she worked in a lab for a year before quitting to be home with her kids. Of the job, she said, "It served its purpose. It helped us get my husband through college. It paid the bills, but I only did it for a year because it was just so boring." 

Stacey Carruth and family

Stacey Carruth with her sweet family

If I was going to leave a legacy for my children. I want them to know that there are people solving problems. The world isn't just about problems, there are amazing people solving them.

- Stacey Carruth -

Longing for a Career

As a new mom, Stacey loved being with her children but discovered she didn't love the homemaker lifestyle all that much. And though she felt guilty for wanting to work outside the home, she still longed for a career. But at the time, Stacey couldn't find a job that inspired her enough to justify disrupting the family arrangement or paying for childcare. So she spent the next several years experimenting--enrolling in various degree programs, starting projects, writing a blog, researching, and more--all to find purpose beyond life as a stay-at-home mom. 

To be clear, Stacey valued the time spent with her kids. But with every passing year, she felt a little more lost in her faith and out of touch with the job market.

She remembers lamenting to a friend, "I'm so proud of how I've spent the last 12 years. I have no regrets. I built an amazing marriage brick by brick with blood, sweat, and tears. I have amazing children, and I worked so hard to get rid of cultural and old habits from my upbringing, build a good relationship with them, and raise good children. I've tried to do wonderful things with my faith journey and in my faith community. I'm so proud of what I've done, but none of that shows up on a resume. That's a blank resume."

Ironically, that gap on her resume plus the unseen career attempts would one day be the perfect "lack of experience" necessary for Stacey to become a sought-after journalist with a much-needed fresh perspective. And though she didn't know it then, her career launch could not have come at a better time.

In this interview, Stacey shares how she now views her career aspirations, found a mentor and the right opportunity, and sees God has been guiding her all along.

It's a good story. Have a listen.

Stacey Carruth at Writers Retreat

Stacey Carruth at Writing Retreat

I think journalists have responsibility to help the public see that we can work together and collaborate rather than just get further divided.

- Stacey Carruth -

Download the Transcript

Holding On When Finding Your Career Takes MUCH Longer than Expected 

Guest: Stacey Carruth

Shelley Hunter: You're listening to the Faithful Career Moves Podcast. I'm your host, Shelley Hunter. This is the place where we talk to people who have found the career they were born to do and recognize God's hand in the process.

Shelley: Welcome to Episode 32, of the Faithful Career Moves Podcast. Today, I'm talking to Stacey Carruth. She's a journalist and the author of a syndicated column in Colorado called Mother Musings with Stacey. I first learned about Stacey when a friend sent me a column she had written called Professional Caregiving with Transferable Skills. In this article, Stacey says, "Despite how proud I was of how I spent my time for the past 10 years, it showed up as a blank page on a resume." Now, just like I tell my clients, Stacey explains in this column, that the key to finding your way back is to identify the activities you do as a mom that would be desirable to an employer.

Things like organizing and researching and fundraising, putting on events and stuff, these are all transferable skills. Obviously, the article spoke to me, and I asked Stacey to be my guest so I could learn more about her journey to becoming a journalist. Now, as you listen to this interview, pay attention to the peace and confidence, and patience you hear in Stacey's voice when she talks about where she is now, compared to the anxiousness she felt early on. It's notable.

Stacey Carruth: As of now, I spend most of my time as a caregiver taking care of my children and I've spent most of my time doing that. What I officially do to make money has been evolving, and I'm transitioning into a career. I got my degree in clinical laboratory science, but right now, I am entering a journalism career.

Shelley: I love it. I did read some of your stuff and it's amazing. Let's go back to the start of the journey. You went to college in something totally different. Take me through that process of how you got to where you are now.

Stacey: I always thought I wasn't smart. I was the dumb one. Now that I have a kid diagnosed with ADHD, it makes me wonder if that could have been it. When I got in to college, I barely scraped into BYU, waitlisted, got in through a back door that doesn't exist anymore. Just really was trying to prove to myself that I knew stuff. so I picked a science career. I'm like, "Okay, I'll be a doctor because that means I'm smart." I loved it. I just took all these different science classes. I was a neuroscience major. It took a while to pick that one.

Then I went on my mission to Brazil, and I discovered a whole new area of life that sparked me and sparked my interest. I loved learning languages. I loved talking to people. I loved learning about the culture and what causes people to make the decisions that they do or live the way that they do. Why we can be halfway across the world and do things so similar, and at the same time, do things so differently? That just sparked an area of my brain that hadn't been activated yet.

I came back from my mission and did Latin American studies. I remember attending this one event at BYU called a micro-finance hunger event to support people who are poor and then to teach people about micro-finance. I went there and it was beautiful and it touched me in a way that really inspired me, but I didn't pursue anything after that. I ignored it because I was like, "No, I keep switching around. I hate that I keep switching topics. I need to just go back to my science degree and get something that can make me money."

To this day, that's probably one of the only two regrets I have not following that. I recognize it now as a prompting. I went back to science and then I got married and got my degree in clinical laboratory science just because it would help me graduate because I'd been there six years. That got me a job working in a lab. That's basically what that degree is. You just process stuff in the lab. It served its purpose. It helped us get my husband through college. It paid the bills, but I only did it for a year because it was just so boring.

Then I stopped working and I just took care of my kids. In that time I thought, "Okay, well, now I need to figure out what would I want to do" I loved my children. I loved spending time with them, but I also knew I really wanted a career. I couldn't figure out what was something that would be worth spending all that time finding childcare and balancing a career with kids at home. I couldn't figure out what was worth that amount of energy.

Shelley: You didn't just want to go back and work at the lab.

Stacey: Yes, exactly. I was going through like, "Well, women should be at home or you should love it," and I wasn't loving it at all. It was meaningful, but it wasn't what sparked joy. All the people around me, they were doing things like crafts and interior decorating, and all these things that just made me want to gag like that stuff. [laugh] I just did not do anything that had to do with homemaking. I just felt broken actually. I focused a lot on what the church taught that said would make you happy. I did all the checklist things. I got married. I had kids. I tried to keep all the commitments, the way you should be.

I got to a point about seven years ago where I just said, "You know what? This isn't working. I'm not happy. How do I teach my children, especially my daughter to be happy if I can't figure it out?" 

I know the definition of insanity is "doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results." Let's change it up. I just took everything that I've been taught and I wrote it out, and I reevaluated it. I took each doctrine, each principle, each habit, a good woman should and shouldn't do, and I just analyzed it. I checked it and I took away any scripture or conference talk or stuff people had told me, and it was just me in the Spirit.

I said, "Lord, what do you want me to do with this?" It was such a powerful experience where the Spirit really taught me how unrealistic and perfectionistic I was being, and how I was actually ignoring the Spirit for most of my life, rather than following it because, I was trying to do what people around, I thought in my head expected of me. It was a really huge faith-promoting experience in that I was loved. I was noticed, and I needed to actually exercise faith and rely on the Spirit rather than rely on the church and rely on people around me and rely on what other people were doing. It was so scary because faith is doing something that you know is true, but you don't see it.

I wrote out a list. I said, "Okay, maybe my desires are righteous because for some reason I just got this idea that we're supposed to sacrifice. Well, let's assume that my desires are righteous. I'm a good person, and what I want is good. I wrote that out this list that if I could pick how my life would go what would it be? I had 20 things. I said, "Okay, Lord, I'm going to pray for these things. If they're wrong, you'll show me. I'm going to trust the Spirit. I went through each thing one by one, and I tried all different things.

We tried to sell everything and move to Costa Rica. I tried to write a blog and do homeschool and that didn't work at all. As I tried things, I slowly learned more and more about myself, about what made me come alive and listening to the Spirit. When I started my blog, I just said, "You know what? We're just going to learn different things as a family." I would just call up different nonprofits and say, "Tell me about what you do. I have no clue what you do."

So many people were just so generous with their time and their information and teaching me about homelessness, teaching me about racism, teaching me about just the different problems in the world because I really wanted to teach them. I'm like, "If I was going to leave a legacy for my children. I want them to know that there are people solving problems. The world isn't just about problems, there are amazing people solving them." I want to teach them how to find that instead of just gathering around saying, "Well, the world's awful and we just need to hunker down and stick to the church and be good." Right?

Shelley: Right.

Stacey: I started that blog doing that but then my kids got some just different physical and mental illnesses I had to deal with, so I had to put that on the back burner. Then I got this kick, "Okay, I'm back to my list. Lord, what do you want me to do? What career can I do?" Then I went, decided, "Okay, I'm going to go to PA school." I took classes and did all those things. It was hard.

We had this plan of me going back to school, and I was running on a treadmill and I almost fell off because the Spirit just said really strongly, "You're settling." I'm like, "What? I can't be settling. I'm going after my dreams. I'm doing my things." The Spirit then responded, "Well, if you could do anything in the world, and you knew you wouldn't fail, is this what you would do." I was like, "Oh, no."

Shelley: Oh, my gosh.

Stacey: That was so hard because I'm like, "Yes, I'm quitting again. I'm quitting again. I've quit my degree." That part of the problem is I called it quitting where now I call it pivoting. I think pivoting is so healthy and necessary and not failing at all. It's learning, but it was so devastating. I stopped, I quit school. I said, "Okay, I don't know what I'm supposed to do, but I know I'm supposed to not be a PA." Then the pandemic hit [laugh] my husband got laid off, so we had to deal with all that stuff.

We finally got stable and I thought, "Okay, my youngest kid is going to school. There's something, I just don't know what it is." I started thinking, "Well, I really loved that blog. I really loved solving problems. You know what, I'm going to get a Ph.D. in economics." I went all over the place and I went back to school for that and that just wasn't working either. It's like, "This isn't it." I quit that and I was so, so sad. Then I started just thinking about all the things I have tried and the Spirit told me, "back off." I thought, "Okay, if I really, really could create what I want to do it's, I love talking to people. I love learning about people's solutions, and I love writing about it."

I'll sit up late at night thinking about how I would craft a message of what I learned to someone. I didn't realize that that was a hint. I talked with a friend who is way crafty. She goes, "Oh, I don't do that. I sit up late at night thinking about what I'm going to do with my cricket thing and how I'm going to make T-shirt." I was going, "Oh, not everyone sits and thinks up and writes a talk or writes some speech. Oh, okay." That really taught me a lot about myself. Again, when you get that idea and then you're sitting there pondering journaling scripture, the Spirit just says, "yes." I was really learning how to trust in that relationship.

Then I was like, "I think this is journalism." I had always thought journalists were trying to just get the scoop, find the dirt on everyone and that wasn't for me either. I was like, "Well, maybe I can figure how to do journalism in my own way." I just looked for free online courses about how to be a journalist. Lo and behold, I go to a birthday party and I'm just talking with some parents and talking about some of my kids' medical issues. This one mom goes, "Oh, I'm an editor for a local newspaper. That's a great story." I said,-

Shelley: Oh, my gosh.

Stacey: -"So I'm actually interested in getting into journalism?" She goes, "Oh, totally let's go for lunch and we'll talk."

Shelley: Oh, my gosh.

Stacey: She's in charge of Colorado Community Media. She's an editor, and she lives around the corner from me. I would say things like, "Well, I want to start writing what I do?" She goes, "You mean freelance?" I didn't know about what the word.


Stacey: I'm like, "Yes, I want to do that." I would just write things first and email to her. She was so honest and kind. She'd come back, she'd say, "Look, if you can handle my red pen, I will turn you into a journalist." I said, "I can handle your red pen. I can." She goes, "Okay, well, then here it is. It's really red. Here's your article. Fix it bring it back to me." As we would talk, she said, "Okay, well, in the meantime, while you're doing this, I think I want to start a mom column. Would you be interested? I really like what you have to say." I was like, "Sure. I'm not really interested in being a mom columnist, but sure I'll do that."

That's how I got started in doing that and I didn't think I would like it, but I do love it because I get to make it my own. In the background, she's helping me with just different stories I find. 

This is the highlight of this journey. As I was looking for online resources of how to become a journalist, I came across, I don't know-how, but this organization called Solutions Journalism Network. As I'm looking on their website and all of their free courses and explanations like, "This is it. This is exactly what I was trying to do when I started my blog."

Their whole premise is that when you report on a story, you need to report it on a solutions lens rather than a problem lens because it helps people be more engaged, and it gives people something to do with the problem. It helps people to know where to focus, rather than just get them discouraged and disengaged. I started just consuming their website voraciously. Then I found out they had a conference in May.

I said, "Well, my birthday's in May, and Mother's Day is in May. I'm going to buy myself a Mother's Day and birthday present." I signed up for this conference and I went and I was so nervous. I felt like complete imposter syndrome that I was pretending to be something that I wasn't. I went in and it was in Sundance in Utah. I spent the whole time driving out there. I'm like, "Okay, don't let them know you just started three months ago. Don't let them know you're a stay-at-home mom."

My political leanings have shifted. I grew up completely Conservative Orthodox, but I probably more lean Liberal now. I knew I would feel comfortable in that room, but I didn't want them to know where I grew up. I went in totally just trying to have this facade I was going to pretend to be, and it was great. At that conference, they introduced different people and it was called un-conference where like 10 people would get up and say, "Hey, I want to talk about this about journalism, come to my table." Then you would sit at a table with like eight people and talk to them. Well, before we all sat down, they would introduce people.

I'm in a room with editors, lots of prize-winning journalists, New York Times journalists, Associated Press, CNN. I'm going, "Oh, my word, I need to keep my mouth shut. [chuckles]" I was so intimidated. As I sat down at each table, they would talk about these different issues in journalism. I could not keep my mouth shut because I had ideas. What was interesting is all of the input that I gave was stuff I learned from being a parent, from being in a marriage, from religion, from my interfaith work, from my work with refugee. From my whole life and all of the things that interest me and that drive me, was making me capable, worthy of staying at this table.

I'd say things and these people that I was intimidated by would sit back and go, huh. Then the founder of the organization who is one of these huge award-winning person, she pulls me aside, she goes, "Let's go for a walk," because in the evening they want everyone to tell a story of how they got into journalism. She's like, "Well, tell me that story." I'm like, "Whoa, all right, let's just bring it." I was like, "Okay, I'll tell you." I told her about the blog thing and how I wanted to do journalism because of her organization because that's how I feel it should be done. She's like, "Wait, you're not a journalist."

Shelley: Wow.

Stacey: "No." She goes, "What's your degree in?" "Medical laboratory science." She goes, "How did you find out about us?" Google. She's like, "You just showed up?" "Yes." "Well, tell me," she's asking me, "What do you think we need to get this message out differently?" "Well, here's the another thing, I grew up really Conservative, I think they need it." She goes, "We think Conservatives are the problem." Then she was saying, "Well, how do we get messages to Conservatives?"

I'm like, "Churches." She's like, "What?" I just finally like I couldn't hide anything, I said, "Well, actually--" I started defending Conservatives and saying, they're not as bad as you think and blah, blah, blah, blah. Then, in the end, she goes, "Thank you for your time," and then leaves. I go on the back of the hotel room, just start getting a paper bag and go--

Shelley: "What did I just do?"

Stacey: "Oh my gosh. I just totally embarrassed myself." Then later that night we're all supposed to tell our story of how we got into journalism. Even the students were so polished and people telling their resumes and how they get into it. I'm like, "These guys are professional speakers and they sound so good." Not only that, we're on this original Sundance stage. I'm like, "Okay. I'm going to be real with y'all." I just told my story exactly what I told you. I said, "I'm really happy to be here," and I sat down. I was thinking about this. Then we had the next day in the same format of you just talk with people.

I was like, "I think I'm going to have a table." I said, "Hey if you want to know how to reach Conservative audiences, come to my table." I got like 15 people. I got the founder. I got the keynote speaker who used to be the Associated Press head honcho, I got CNN people. They all just sat there and picked my brain, "Well, what about the Don't Say Gay Bill? What about Critical race theory?" I gave a completely different perspective. I was like, "It's not that they hate people. Yes, some people do." I just started saying, "I used to think this way, and here's how I changed my mind. The way you're reporting, the way you're talking about these people isn't working."

Then there was this girl from this organization called Trusting News. Every time I said a personal experience, she would back it up with research. After that table, I went to the back of the building and just started breathing into a paper bag. I'm like, "I didn't know. What am I doing? I'm just saying stuff. I believe it's true, but I have no clue if it's true." At the very end of the conference, the founder comes up to me and she said, "I want to thank you for coming."

Shelley: Wow.

Stacey: "This conference would not have been the same without you, and you've really shown me how I've been living in a bubble my entire life."

Shelley: Wow.

Stacey: The keynote speaker comes up to me. She goes, "I don't know what you have, but when you figure it out, you need to monetize this. Journalism needs what you have." Despite how wonderful those compliments were, the biggest thing it did for me was validate my entire life experience. Before I went, I was crying to my neighbor and I was saying, "You know what's really frustrating about starting a career is I'm so proud of how I've spent the last 12 years. I have no regrets. I have built an amazing marriage and I built that marriage brick by brick, with blood, sweat, and tears.

I have amazing children that I have worked so hard to get rid of cultural and old habits from my upbringing, and to build a good relationship with them, and to raise good children. I've tried to do wonderful things with my faith journey in my faith community. I'm so proud of what I've done, but none of that shows up on a resume. That's a blank resume. To go there and to realize that everything that I've studied and who I've been was exactly what they needed, was so validating."

Shelley: I love that so much. What does it look like now?

Stacey: Now I'm trying to figure out what that is, but at the same time, what's different is before I'd be like, "Okay, I got to get this going. I've got this opportunity to do it." Then I'd get stressed out and feel like my kids are in my way, my husband was in my way, and all this stuff. Now like, "Yes, we're sick. I had this huge funeral I had to plan." Before it would be like, "All these things are getting in the way," but now I'm like, "No, that's waiting for me. When the time is right, the Lord will make it happen and I'll be able to carve that out and carve it out as slowly or as fast as I want." It calmed me down and it validated me and it was such a beautiful experience.

Shelley: It's funny because I'm listening to you this whole time thinking, "You're totally a journalist because look at how you went about investigating what's making me happy or not happy and parts of the gospel that were a struggle for you as well." You know what? I think is interesting, what you were providing for that journalism group was a fresh perspective based on your experiences and your strengths. Once you started leaning into what you really had to offer, it's effortless, scary for you because you hadn't done it before, but effortless compared to all the other things you were trying.

Stacey: I love that word effortless because once I stopped being scared of who I was, being afraid of who I was, being embarrassed by who I was, and just showing up if it helps you great, if not great, but I'm standing and confident in who I am. Once I was able to do that and just get in the zone, that's when real connection, magic, and learning happened both ways.

Shelley: Finding that career you were born to do, it doesn't come easily for most people. What I do see every time, every time, there's a pattern and it's been happening in your life the whole time. I don't want to say that you were blind to it because I think there are experiences you had to collect in order to be prepared for it. As you finally were speaking about the Conservative viewpoint or motherhood or all these things, you couldn't have talked about them before, you had to experience them.

Stacey: Oh, I totally agree. I've met lots of really young journalists just coming out of college and they want to save the world, right?

Shelley: Yes.

Stacey: They haven't experienced the world. I'm more capable of understanding the nuance of a story to knowing what types of questions to ask, to see someone's assets first, and not where deficits comes from my life experience. Also, I think knowing the process of changing my political and some of my faith perspectives, it wasn't an easy process. So many people in the political arena, they're trying to change people's minds, but the way they're doing it, is they're causing everyone to dig their heels in.

I believe so strongly that journalists have the power to really change our rhetoric into a form of pluralism where we can respect the value someone's fighting for, even though we disagree how they're fighting for it. We can even say they're blind, but we can still respect what they're trying to do rather than seeing them as evil. The more we paint people that don't agree with us as evil, the more we're heading into a civil war, in my opinion.

It's journalist's responsibility to inform the public of the nuance of an issue of the validity of both sides. Even if I believe, some sides are wrong. They're so wrong, but I also see they're not wrong because they're evil, they're wrong because of our cultural heritage, of our religious heritage, of just how our societies are made up. I think journalists have responsibility to help the public see that so that we can work together and collaborate rather than just get further divided.

Shelley: I don't mean to force you into another paper bag moment, but it feels to me like you were born for this time. We have never needed what you are talking about more than we do right now.

Stacey: I agree. It's scary too.

Stacey: Yes, it's petrifying.

Stacey: I'm so prepared and I'm like, "Crap, no, I'm going to do something." The more and more I talk to people and I just say, "Hey, do you know anyone I could talk to about this?" There's this one huge politician in Colorado, and he just said, "You need to write a book. This is not--" I'm like, "Oh, wow, that's far." At the same time, I feel like this is what the Spirit is doing for everyone. If I hadn't had the courage to listen to those little things, no matter how crazy and dumb they made me feel to do them, there's no way the Spirit could have told me now what would've happened. I would not have believed it.

Shelley: What advice would you give to somebody who wants to pursue a career similar to what you're doing now?

Stacey: If someone wants to become a journalist, show up at a newsroom and say, I want to write for you, and talk to people. It can be freelance and pay me when you can, or find blogs that interests you, that are writing on something you're right up with, and just say, "Hey, could I write for you?" I started out writing for a sustainable travel blog. They were just looking for volunteer blog writers. I said, "Okay, I'll do that." I did that for a bit, and then I got other work that was paid and so I said, "Sorry, I can't do that anymore." If you don't need money, it's a lot easier. If you need money, there's two ways, is one, you can just start freelancing in evenings and weekends.

Two, just start writing in any aspect. Marketing can transfer into a freelance journalism storytelling in any way, writing just for information. If you're already in a business, you can ask to transfer to do more of the marketing side, and then that could get you into journalism too. I found more and more if you just talk to people and say, "I want to do this." You'll find people that want to help you.

Shelley: I love that. Stacey, can you tell me about a leap of faith you had to take to get where you are now?

Stacey: I think just emphasizing the leap of faith was trusting that my desires were good. I don't know where I got that message that my desires were the natural man, and if I had a desire, it meant it was wrong, but really trusting in my desire and following that until the Spirit said stop. That's not just one time. I have to do that all the time and it doesn't get easier. It's scary every single time. That's probably led to the most happiness in my life, the most fulfillment, the most miracles, the most seeing God in my life, and most times I've seen myself really being an instrument as an impact for good in my family, my community and my church. Amazing.

Shelley: You started this off by saying that you did not think you were smart, and the career attempts you made earlier were all in pursuit of a credential, something to prove that you were smart, but not having your credential is what proved your authenticity.

Stacey: Yes. It's huge impact on my life, and I'm excited to see where it goes and what I can do with it.

Shelley: What's an unexpected blessing, something you could not see for yourself in having the courage to do this.

Stacey: I would say two things. One is my individual worth. We're taught to pursue our individual worth, and I didn't realize how much that wasn't there. Maybe it was because I defined my worth on what I was doing, having to earn it. Now I feel loved and worthy whether I get out of bed or I don't. That is such a beautiful thing to feel that. I don't have to do anything to feel that way. The second, I guess I would call it just my access to priesthood power in this world. I feel so much connected with our heavenly parents, and me, and humanity, working together. I see it more where before it just felt like, "Oh, I believe it's there."

Grace is the power to do good works that otherwise you would not be able to do if left to your own means. When I just start following an idea, following a prompting, if something I want to do that seems impossible and outrageous, things happen, miracles happen. The fact that the editor was at a birthday party, and all I'd done before that was pray, say, "Lord, please help me do this, and I'm okay if I have to pivot again, but if this is what you want me to do, help me do it." Then she just showed up.

That stuff happens when you follow the Spirit and you follow something, you're like, "No, this is good and important. Even if it's only good and important for one week, it's good and important now. Once you start doing it, things will happen." I thought that stuff only happened on missions or in your calling. No, it happens in careers. It happens in politics. It happens in anything that matters because everything matters.

Shelley: Stacey, my final question, how have you seen the hand of God in your career?

Stacey: I would say that's where I see it the most. Not everyone is blessed to be able to earn money in what they're passionate about. I recognize that's the world we live in, but as I pursue a career, it's as integral as to what I do as a mother, what I do in my callings at church, what I do as a spouse. I just feel like every time I work on my career and I do journalism, the Lord is saying, "This is why you're here. I've prepared you for this moment."

It feels like I'm a missionary again. That's the easiest, simplest way to describe it. I get so sad when people say, "Oh, you'll never have the high you had when you're on a mission," but I don't agree with that. Your mission should be a springboard rather than the highlight. I feel like I'm finally back at that Spiritual high.

Shelley: Thank you for being on this show.

Stacey: Thank you for having me, I'm so glad you caught me. This was a crazy morning, but I'm so glad we made this work.


Shelley: Here's what I love about these stories and working with my clients. There is always a theme. Everyone I work with, they have a theme, have a backstory that comes together in a way that makes a lot of your life experience make perfect sense. 

Maybe you're listening and you're thinking, "Well, not me," but I promise it's true with all of us. It's that personal brand. I don't mean your Instagram persona, the way you try to present yourself to the world, but that unique way you approach life. It's so much a part of you that you really cannot not do it. Not everybody uses that backstory or that theme for a career, but when there is a longing to do so.

I find that what stops most people are three things. 

First of all, they don't think that thing they're really good at is a career. Maybe they just don't see how it can be monetized. There's an aptitude for something, creativity, or organizing, or speaking a language, but they don't really have any clear thought on how to monetize it, so they just don't even try. 

Another reason people don't pursue a strength is that they only see one way of using it, and that way isn't very appealing. For example, how many times have you heard somebody say something like, "Well, I love teaching, but there's no money in that. " They decide to study a different major or pursue something entirely different thinking it'll be more profitable, when all the while, there are hundreds of other ways to utilize a talent for teaching, or they're ignoring a prompting to actually be a teacher. 

Finally, sometimes like we learned here with Stacey, the way a person needs to use that talent doesn't come about because you or the opportunity aren't quite ready yet.

This isn't to say that Stacey couldn't have started a career as a journalist earlier in life, but it's possible she wouldn't have come with the fresh perspective she now brings, at a time when having her collaborative and problem-solving approach is so needed. It's never been more needed, at a time when she can represent both a Conservative view based on her background and a Liberal view based on how she's evolved as a woman with empathy and sensitivity and most importantly at a time when she could clearly see the hand of God pushing her that direction. That's what matters the most to me. 

I love the stories. They really do inspire me to keep telling them, but also to keep asking God, if I'm using my talents the way he wants me to. I'll link to Stacey's article and the sites she mentioned in the show notes. Thank you, Stacey Carruth, for joining me today, and thank you for listening. 

Thank you for listening to the Faithful Career Moves Podcast. If you want to know more about how to connect your natural talents and abilities to job opportunities and business ideas, then visit our website at

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Shelley Hunter

About the author

Shelley Hunter is a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach with a passion for helping people up-level their careers, return to the workforce with confidence, and identify their God-given strengths. She is also a work-at-home mom who left a traditional career as a programmer to be unapologetically home with her kids.

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