Do you struggle with knowing how to continue living in the joy of “Sunday worship” all week long? The workplace is not always the most faith-friendly environment, but that doesn’t mean you need to squash your faith when you walk in the door on Monday. Peju Akintorin, a certified HR and Project Management professional and 4word mentor, shares how she embraces her faith all week long and offers a great tip for staying true to your faith at work!
Tell us a little about yourself!
Born and raised in London, England, I moved to Chicago to join my family about 13 years ago after my father’s job relocated him to the states. I met and married my husband shortly after, and we currently live about 40 miles outside the city of Chicago. We have a precious five-year-old son.
I started my career in television (surprisingly), working for Oprah Winfrey for 3+ years. Within my role, I had the opportunity to lead a team of researchers and this is where my interest in talent and leadership development was born.
I currently work in strategy consulting as a talent development lead. I create talent development programs and coach strategy consultants to be the best that they can be in the workplace. I also have a blog, speaking and coaching platform – my career thrive, where I share kingdom principles on how to better your work life experiences, and have happy, impactful, and purposeful careers.
If I’m not doing any of the above, you’ll catch me crocheting, watching documentaries, and spending quality time with family and friends.
How have you been able to live your faith at work?
I have learned that your faith at work can be reflected in so many ways. Many tend to think it’s about quoting scriptures and sharing the gospel; while that can be part of it, it certainly isn’t all of it. For me, it’s about taking some of the basic kingdom principles in the word and intentionally implementing them in the workplace.
Take for example the fruits of the spirit: nine specific behaviors that show we are living in accord with the holy spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
When mapping out my week, I try to weave in ways in which I can exhibit these behaviors. For example, I’ve been waiting on an urgent deliverable from one of my associates: how can I show patience and gentleness whilst also ensuring I get what I need on time? Or, I have a very ‘irritating’ colleague who is always trying to throw me under the bus – how can I show them love and create an atmosphere of peace instead of acting in the flesh?
Applying these simple behaviors doesn’t only change you but also those around you! It’s a win-win!
Why do you think Christians sometimes struggle to live their faith authentically in the workplace?
I think connecting Sunday worship with Monday work is a challenge for all, and I think the main reasons are mainly because of fear of fitting in and strong policies about discussing religion in the workplace.
As I mentioned earlier, the best thing to do is to just live out kingdom principles. By doing this, you automatically become attractive and shine! People will be drawn to you and once they are, make sure you are prepared to share your faith. (1 Peter 3:15-17)
How can someone use their profession to share Christ?
The most effective way is to let your life support your message. People will take you seriously when they see you walk the walk and not just talk the talk. Throughout the work week, take some time to ‘check yourself’ by asking the following questions:
- Am I a good employee/co-worker?
- Is my work product as good as it can be?
- Do I take time to listen to my colleagues?
- Who are my mentees?
- In what ways am I ‘paying it forward’ through knowledge sharing and training?
- Do I remain calm and poised in tough and stressful situations?
- How am I using my words in the workplace? To build up or tear down?
- Do people view me as Negative Nancy or a Positive Polly?
Do you have any tips or tricks for staying true to your faith at work?
I would say the biggest thing is not to compromise any of your core beliefs in the workplace. Very important! I came across a great acronym recently and it was too good not to share. This has really helped me stay true to my faith at work. That idea is simply this: Just be NICER.
- No Compromise
- Responsible to others
Check out this video for a full explanation for each letter. It has changed the way I approach work daily!
Peju Akintorin SPHR PMP, is a certified HR and Project Management professional with over 12 years of experience in Talent and professional development at top tier firms. Peju focuses on Talent development and employee engagement initiatives to help build a robust and engaged workforce. She also has a passion for young professionals and spends much of her time mentoring and coaching young professionals across the country.
She speaks and writes on career purpose, contentment and happiness through her platform Career Thrive, and shares ways in which professionals can enhance their workplace experience through simple and practical tips. She holds undergraduate and master degrees from University of London and University of Leicester respectively. Peju also serves as a 4word mentor and is a certified John Maxwell coach, trainer and speaker. She is a lover of words and the Word and is on a mission to build the kingdom of God in the workplace through sharing and teaching biblical principles. Peju currently resides in the Chicagoland area with her husband and son.