Having Faith in the Spotlight
I first met Megan Alexander in May 2017 when she was our keynote speaker at the Defiance Area Day of Prayer event. As a nationally recognized name because of her work as an “Inside Edition” TV news correspondent, a special correspondent for CBS’s “Thursday Night Football,” an author, and an actress, to name a few of her accomplishments, Alexander spoke about her new book, Faith in the Spotlight , which provides practical tips for living out your faith in a secular workplace. I was impressed with her candid stories and down-to-earth approach about how to navigate an ambitious career without losing sight of what truly matters. After reading Alexander’s book, we connected, and she graciously elaborated on the topic of her book.
Studer: What prompted you to write Faith in the Spotlight?
Alexander:There are a lot of excellent books for the secular working woman, and there are plenty for Christian businessmen. But for the working woman of faith? I could not find one. We have many books about being a better wife, mother, and friend. But what about a book for the ambitious CEO who wants to achieve success and also maintain her faith? I could not find a practical book. So, I decided to write my own.
Studer: Why do you feel it is so important for women to be leaders and have a seat at the table?
Alexander: I think this is the next big conversation for the faith community. What are we doing to encourage and equip our female leaders? We need to talk about it practically and honestly. How do you juggle work and faith?
Studer: One of the key aspects of your book was about finding suitable alternatives in your job when on the surface an assignment may not align with your values. Did this ability come naturally to you, or was it something that you developed?
Alexander: This developed over time. It can only come from on-the-job training. Observing. Learning. Listening. Practicing. College cannot teach you what it’s like to be on the job and faced with these scenarios. I wanted to figure out how we can all work together [on the set]. I like being part of a team. We can respect each other and still maintain our values.
Studer: You wear a lot of hats each day. What advice do you have for professional women about how to maintain balance in their lives?
Alexander: Throw that word “balance” out the window. I don’t think it’s healthy. Who really has balance? Does the single working mom of three kids who is trying to save money for college really get to consider “balance” in her life? No. She is figuring out how to make ends meet. What matters in the end is what is right for you and your family. Trust your gut. You know what’s right for you.
Studer: You talk about the importance of “hustle” in your book. What has that meant to you, and how do you feel it has helped shape your career?
Alexander: Hard work pays off. Bottom line. I work hard. I work holidays. I take redeye flights to get home to my kiddos. I come in early and stay late. My father taught me this work ethic, and I have yet to find something that works better. You have to have that drive, that “fire in the belly,” and I think God gave us this life, so what we make of it is our gift back to him.
Studer: You cover a variety of stories, ranging from red carpet ceremonies to tragedies. How do you prepare yourself and also stay grounded?
Alexander: I try very hard to be professional and respectful in all my interviews. I say a quick prayer and take a deep breath. Every person has a story, and it is my job to be the messenger of that story. The bottom line is I am there to do a job and do it to the best of my ability. Also, kids help. I often think my boys will be impressed by my job and who I just Interviewed. When I share my stories with them, they just stare at me and say, “Can we play trains, please?”
Studer: You discussed the importance of knowing who you are. How does that help you in making day-to-day decisions?
Alexander: Crafting a mission statement in college was helpful in determining who I am and what I believe in, and when pursuing a job or opportunity, it is important to seek wise counsel. I think it’s important to try and determine who you are before you get in this business. Otherwise, there are plenty of people who would like to decide for you. My book talks about having a game plan for your career and life. I share some real-life examples and stories in the book.
To learn more about Alexander’s game plan and to read her real-life examples in action, check out Faith in the Spotlight . She has showed me that her book is not just words on paper—it’s truly a reflection of how she lives her life. Her practical guidance can help anyone be a light in the workplace, regardless of career choice.
Hayley Studer, CPA, FHFMA, is vice president, community partnerships for Credit Adjustments Inc. and is responsible for overseeing the company’s charitable division. Opinions in this article are the author’s and interviewee’s own viewpoints.