By Jamie Shafer
Christians in the marketplace often wrestle with what it looks like to live and express personal faith within the everyday work setting. Dale Min, Senior Manager of Business Operations for Coach, a design brand in New York City, focuses on adding value to his company and staying grounded in his identity in Christ.
Formerly with Nielsen, a consumer research company, Dale originally interviewed with Coach for a marketing position. The company contacted him to say that although he interviewed well, he was overqualified for the position. However another role opened that was more connected to the strategy and financial planning side of the business. Dale was thrilled.
“I had taken a college class on corporate strategy, and this was really what I wanted to do,” he shared with enthusiasm. He was able to join the company in a smaller role, working with a closely knit team. “We grew quite significantly in a short time and we got to have exposure to a lot of things. Because we are international, things change and move all the time. We’ve shifted from stores and malls to digital and social media. Economically speaking, the world is different. People spend less and are much more careful about what they spend their money on. The world has changed.”
Rooted in Faith
During his seven years with Coach, Dale has served in various roles, leading to his current position. Among these shifts, he has stayed focused on adding value to the company by remaining true to his principles, rooted in faith. “You have to do good things for business, good things for the people involved and for the company as a whole,” Dale said.
“You can be tempted to not have integrity or to compromise it or elevate yourself. If you don’t take the integrity route, you will hurt yourself in the long-term. Biblically speaking, it’s the principle of the seed and the plant. It helps me stay grounded and keep that perspective. People catch on, understand your perspective and where you’re coming from, and they start to trust it.” He added that it’s important to execute all things with excellence.
“Being at Coach for seven and a half years is a long tenure for someone of my age, especially in New York. Usually it’s two to three years and then people move on. With that kind of longevity, there is a legacy. You don’t want to sacrifice your long-term for your short-term.”
Dale noted that it’s important to choose companies that allow people to have integrity within their jobs. He pointed out that some businesses discourage ethical practices, and that will affect employees from a faith perspective.
In the fast-paced New York culture, it would be easy for Dale to invest all of his life into his career. But he strives to keep all things in perspective. “My motivations are different from others in a lot of ways. The culture in New York is focused on your place in society, your title, and your job. To a certain degree you need that component in order to have any level of authority. But, after a certain point, your motivations aren’t tied to those things.”
Dale’s involvement at Remnant Westside Church is also important to him. When he accepted the role at Coach and made the move from Cincinnati, Ohio, he prayed about having the time and availability to be an active member of a church body. “New York is tough in that. A lot of roles don’t allow that kind of freedom. You are married to your job.”
His prayer was answered. Dale has enjoyed serving in various roles in his church, including the worship team. He loves that Remnant is filled with a variety of college students, young adults, and couples. “It’s needed within the city. It can be a cold and lonely place, even though there are so many people. We have a calling from God to minister to the city.”
He added, “I personally don’t feel a call to vocational ministry, but I feel like it’s important for lay people to be active in the church and invest in the body and outreach. The church today as a whole is called to impact communities. It doesn’t stop with people who are employed with the church. There is a bigger purpose in my life than my job and occupation; it makes me better at my job. When there is a different purpose beyond that role, it keeps you motivated. Life stands for something.”
Jamie Shafer is a communications strategist for Fishhook Communications in Indianapolis, Indiana. She and her husband, Eric, have two children.