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God At Your Job

Megan Alexander has built a successful career in the competitive world of television, and says you can excel in any career while staying strong in your faith. Read Transcript


[MUSIC PLAYING]

NARRATOR: She reports from NFL sidelines, rides on elephants,

and hangs out with orangutans.

She's Inside Edition's, Megan Alexander.

For the past 10 years, she's built a career in an industry

that often times conflicts with Christian values.

In her book, Faith in the Spotlight,

Megan shares why she chose a job in television.

And gives examples of how and why believers

should lead in the workplace.

And joining me now is Inside Edition's Megan Alexander.

It's great to have you here.

Thank you, Terry.

We mentioned you chose a career in television,

but it's not so easy to just say gee, I think I'll work in TV

and go get a job.

How did that open up for you?

Well from a young age, I enjoyed performing, telling

stories, communicating but I was involved

with a lot of different things growing up, played sports,

tried out for the school play, music, you got it.

But then, as I decided what I wanted to do,

I wasn't necessarily overly encouraged in my high school

or in my faith to pursue this career,

but I had a really neat conversation in high school

with a friend of mine.

His father's a pastor and we were

talking about what we wanted to study in college

and I sort of apologized, oh, I think I want to get into TV.

It's not a pastor.

It's not a doctor.

And he said hey Megan, every job is a ministry.

Every job could be a mission field.

And then, one thing sort of leads to the next,

but at the end of the day, it comes down

to hard work and tenacity.

I cold called radio stations.

Finally got a classical radio station

to give me the midnight to 6:00 AM shift

so you take what you can get.

It's called news.

Paying your dues.

Exactly.

And then one thing leads to the next.

And you show up early, you go home late,

and you just try to prove yourself.

You know, that area of work is often challenging of the values

that you and I would hold together is a believers.

Have you been challenged along the way

with things that conflicted with your faith?

And how did you handle it?

Sure.

Well getting into the industry, first, I

wanted to be known for good work.

I want to be an excellent reporter, an excellent host.

Do the best that I can do and I have

a chapter in the book called A Seat at the Table.

I want to encourage believers to take a seat at the table.

Do excellent work.

Get in the room when a decision is made.

But then along the way, every day

is different in terms of figuring out how

your faith is going to apply.

And Terry, honestly, that's why I wrote the book.

Because I would have loved to guide going into this industry

and figuring out what that means.

So we tackle all kinds of practical things

like negotiating a contract, asking for a raise,

finding a mentor, dealing with workplace drama.

What it means for your family as a working woman.

How is that going to work with childcare and so forth.

So in terms of on the job, I would

say trying to be yourself in the moment.

I have a quick story for you.

On Inside Edition, we often cover the Academy Awards,

what the stars wear on the red carpet.

A particular reality star had walked the red carpet

in a white dress that it was incredibly revealing,

showing a lot of skin.

And as the female reporter on the show,

they often ask me to model that dress the next day.

Find a replica that's much less expensive than what

the stars wear.

But I just was uncomfortable.

But instead of just saying no because I can't stop the train.

I'm on a show.

I enjoy everybody I work with.

I said hey, how about a plan B.

Let's go with this dress.

I know we can make this work.

I got some push back.

No, no, no, we want you to wear this dress, from the stylist.

I said I know we can work the problem here.

So that's my passion is there's a way that you can still

live out your faith and stay in the job, true to yourself,

but be a team player.

We saw a piece earlier from Facebook

where a dad was so encouraging his young daughter.

Who have been the people in your life

who've inspired you to hold fast to what you believe but

to keep pressing forward with what you feel called to?

Sure.

Again, first and foremost, it was that pastor that told me

every job is a mission field.

Words like that matter.

They make a big impact on our lives.

My parents told me to go for it.

They said, we don't know anybody in the industry

so we can't help you.

But go for your dreams and goals.

Be who you're called to be.

And then just along the way, finding mentors from afar.

People that I admire.

Working women that I think do a good job maintaining it.

Deborah Norville, who's the anchor of our show

is a big role model.

What about the red carpet, you talked about the dress

that was revealing, but just in general,

I mean everything about that is so surreal compared

to day-to-day life and yet, there you

are having to stand next to people

who are almost like royalty.

Do you feel insecure from time to time?

Absolutely.

I'm human.

Everybody is.

And in those moments, you need to take a step back

and remember that everybody has bad hair days.

That a lot of those photos are airbrushed.

And I really want to lift the veil with this book, Terry,

and remind people that we think those celebrities have

life perfect.

But hey, they have a hair and makeup team and 12 hours

to get ready.

If you can't look good after that, you can't look good.

Exactly.

But I also want to encourage people

that you don't have to look like somebody else.

I have had people say to me in my career,

don't try out for that.

You don't have the look.

And I said hey, I just want to get some feedback.

I just want to go for the experience.

And then in the moment, the casting director

said oh well, I didn't think of you for this role

but maybe you would work.

I want young people, especially women,

to know you're made exactly as you're supposed to be.

Speaking of looking back, the last time

we had a chance to visit, you had taken such a stand

on purity and not really, I guess, an issue

today or a position today that would be common in our culture.

And yet, you stood up strongly for it.

You talk about it in the book, the significance of it.

Talk a little bit about the impact

we can have when we're willing to stand up and be

counted in the midst of a place that

might not share our beliefs.

Sure.

Well that was a personal decision

that I never really thought I would talk about publicly.

I made that decision early on and found a husband

that agreed with me on that, a future husband that eventually

became my husband.

And what we decided, people aren't talking about it enough

and young people are faced with so much pressure nowadays.

Every day.

It's just not a part of the conversation.

And sometimes your personal choices

effect your professional life.

And my husband and I said hey if it encourages one person,

it's worth it.

And once I spoke out about it, Terry, there

have been such neat moments where people

have pulled me aside and said hey,

I thought I was the only one.

Thank you for speaking out.

That's why we decided to include it in this book

because, again, you want faith to be

in all areas of your life.

And not just for speaking out and making the issue public,

but for letting young people know

you can still move forward in what you want to do and hold

onto to your values.

Yes, absolutely.

The book, just out, Faith in the Spotlight,

what's the takeaway?

What do you want people to walk away from after they read this?

Well the idea for this book came from a pastor in Seattle

that wrote to me and said I have a church

full of young, ambitious women with big career goals

and dreams, but they're worried they're

going to need to compromise their faith to get ahead.

I don't have a lot of people to point them towards,

but I know of you.

I wrote this book for them, Terry.

I tried to tackle it from a variety of angles.

I believe in order to change culture,

we must engage directly with culture

and do it with excellence.

Comes out of relationship.

Thank you, Megan.

Thank you.

What a great word.

If you'd like to learn more about thriving while holding on

to your faith, get Megan's book.

It's available wherever books are sold.

The title is Faith in the Spotlight.

Plus, check out our Facebook page right after the show,

we have a special behind-the-scenes interview

with Megan.

And so, we're thrilled to have her here.

Thanks Megan.

Thanks, Terry.

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