Katelyn Beaty is the first interview in our World Changers series. She is the author of A Woman’s Place , and acclaimed writer. Her work has been featured in The Washington Post, The Atlantic, and The New York Times. She has commented on faith and culture for CNN, ABC, NPR, the Associated Press, Religion News Service, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and McClatchy Newspapers.
Q – What was your very first job in your field?
Katelyn- I started out as a copy editor at Christianity Today magazine, the “flagship” publication of evangelicalism, based in the Chicago suburbs.
Q – Did you always know that this is what you wanted to be, or is this a path that you believe God eventually brought you to?
Katelyn-In high school I thought I wanted to be a librarian, and in college I thought I wanted to be an academic/scholar. Writing and public speaking have always felt second-nature to me, but those interests can express themselves in a lot of different jobs. That said, I believe that God placed me at CT and put me on a path of writing, editing, and thought leadership that I wouldn’t have imagined for myself 15 years ago but am grateful to be on.
Q – People say that in order to be a world changer, you have to make sacrifices. How did that look for you?
Katelyn-Sacrifice for me has looked like risking a certain amount of comfort. Leaders are often the people who are willing to say things or make decisions that not everyone will agree with. Putting yourself out there as a leader means you risk criticism and misunderstanding, and I’ve certainly faced both. That’s why it’s important for leaders to look to other leaders for discernment, direction, and encouragement along the way.
Q – What is one thing you would say to someone who wants to make a difference but doesn’t know where to start?
Katelyn-Start with your literal neighbor and your neighborhood. We often think “changing the world” sounds like it has to be something big and global, but most of us can only ever start with the people and places we have direct connection to. That’s also where we can have the most effect. The viral social media campaign can come later.
Q – Are there any fears that are holding you back?
Katelyn-Oh, sure. 🙂 Fear of not being liked, fear of stepping on toes, fear or wondering if I am making the right decisions in my career path. If you’re not a little bit afraid then you probably aren’t taking enough risks.
*This interview was conducted by Jeremy Roberson, Communication major at Andrews University.