Jenni Catron, Executive Director of Cross Point Church in Nashville, TN, and ChristianMingle 2012 National Advisory Board member, connects, engages and inspires women leaders. As a successful, driven, and married woman of God,she knows the challenges of striking the balance between career and relationships.
Jenni shares some insights on fulfilling your career mission, while also implementing some strategies to be successful in your personal and romantic relationships.
Work Mode Is … for Work!
Jenni acknowledges that women who are driven and are passionate about their careers can easily fall into the trap of always putting work first.
Think of the first question that people typically ask one another upon meeting: “What do you do?” The tendency for many is to immediately relay back to career. “I’m in marketing,” or “I’m a lawyer.”
Those are the things that you do, but not who you are. Try to write out a list describing yourself and who you are without listing anything related to your job. If this sounds difficult, jump in and start writing your list!
Maximize Your Time
If you are single and are either passionate about your career, or are just starting a new job, it can be tempting to over-work. Staying those two extra hours in the office and neglecting personal relationships can be harmful down the road. If you are not intentional about continually keeping in touch and creating a meaningful time to connect with those you care about, there will come a day when you look up to find that your friends have moved on.
Jenni shares that if something is a priority, then it will be always on her calendar. Ask yourself, “What are the things that I value?”
Schedule time to refresh and recharge doing those things. Maximize your time by calling a friend on your way home from work, or while running errands. Be deliberate about maximizing your time. If your spouse or significant other is out of town, take advantage of that time to get some extra things done and then schedule a specific time to connect. Find ways to make sure that you are prioritizing the personal aspects of your life, and not just your work.
Your Cell Phone Is Not an Appendage
If you have ever been in a room with a friend, spouse, family member and look up to find that no one is talking and all eyes are glued to each person’s cell phone— this is for you! Twenty-first century cell phone usage has turned from texting to even sleeping with cell phones! The danger is that your connection to your phone can break the connection in your personal relationships.
When you plan to spend time with someone in your personal life, put away your phone — and no checking work emails! Strive to truly be present in each moment. This is a practiced skill. If you do not take advantage of “the now,” then you are not really living in the present. Take off your work hat and allow yourself to experience the moment you are in and the people that are a priority to you.
Power Girls Meets … What Type of Guy?
Confidence, success, drive and passion are all positive in a woman; yet, these qualities can also be very intimidating to men. That strong exterior can even be perceived as intimidating in friendships.
Women who are self-sufficient can, unknowingly, send the signal that they don’t need anyone to take care of them. Believe it or not, men have a desire to be needed; and, don’t we all desire to connect and be needed in some way? Vulnerability is what truly creates the space for connection to be made.
While Jenni found her match and married him right after college, she has been both a spectator and advisor to her single lady friends. Jenni encourages strong, power girls to look for the following qualities and behaviors in men that will best compliment their confident personalities and career-driven lifestyles:
- Disciplined in his relationship with God
- Responsible: Can he pay his bills? Does he pay his bills?!
- Strong, but Gentle
- Supports your career aspiration and admires your work ethic
- Affirms your accomplishments
- Has the attitude of a team mate
- Possesses a passion for his own career and has long-term goals