"What’s next?” “How do I want the rest of my life to play out?”
These were the questions Traci Barrett found herself asking almost 20 years into a successful career at HGTV. She had a job that she loved, was working in a glamorous environment, and was making more money than she ever thought she would. But she knew God had invited her to take a breath, to reevaluate her life—and she couldn’t say no to the invitation.
Traci had moved to Chicago almost 25 years earlier to work in television after graduating from Indiana University. She started out in broadcast television, but a few years later she heard about a small cable network that was just in the idea phase—HGTV. She joined as one of the founders of the network.
Traci quickly moved up the corporate ladder and found herself promoted to executive management at 29 years old. Over the next decade, Traci helped lead HGTV, learning important lessons along the way like how to stay true to your mission even as you grow and scale.
After almost 20 years, even though she loved her job, Traci began to feel restless. She started to realize how tightly she had woven her identity to her job. Traci knew it was the right time to leave and that everything would work out. She felt God was in control.
“If it wasn’t for my faith, it would have been nearly impossible for me to walk away,” Traci said. “I see that for a lot of people in these types of jobs. They can’t walk away because their identity is tied to it.”
But even as Traci stood at a crossroads in her life, God had a plan.
After she left her job at HGTV, a lot of people reached out to her for career advice. Her 20-plus years in corporate business along with a master’s degree in professional psychology had given her the insights and skills she needed to help others navigate their career goals.
Traci’s executive coaching side practice grew into Navigate the Journey, a company she and her husband founded in 2014. Navigate the Journey is a business consulting firm that comes alongside entrepreneurial leaders helping them grow and scale their companies. It also helps leaders and executives create strategic plans for their own lives—making sure their career goals match the personal lives they want to live.
Traci also recently wrote a book that chronicles her story called What If There’s More? It gives the framework of how she works with clients to create a strategic life map.
“It’s the book I wish I had when I was going through that crossroads, so I hope it helps people through the process,” Traci explained. “It can be especially powerful for a Christian who wants to use their gifts and talents in a positive way and wants to make sure their career aligns with how they were uniquely designed.”
Recently, Traci met leaders at Christianity Today and hosted a vision-casting meeting for the organization in her home for some of her friends along with other CT readers.
“I was excited to host because my husband and I believe in the mission of CT and were curious to hear the vision from president Tim Dalrymple,” Traci said. “We wanted to hear more about how CT is staying true to its mission. We were also excited to learn what the future might hold for the organization.”
During the event, Russell Moore, CT’s head of the Public Theology Project and editor in chief, shared stories and insights about navigating the world today as a faithful Christian.
“I was able to see their vision but also their hearts and their authenticity,” Traci said. “Their hearts are in the right place, and their vision is completely based on the Gospel and not a self-serving agenda.”
Traci also appreciates CT’s global perspective, especially because her husband, Tom, was born in Ireland and immigrated to the United States in his twenties. His life experiences have given him a very global view, and that has changed how Traci sees things. And, of course, Tom loved CT’s interview with Bono, being from Ireland.
“Our experience with the people of CT only solidified that we want to support the ministry and to walk alongside them in this journey,” Traci said. “CT is a beacon in a broken world and reminds people what truth is and where our hearts should lie, and that’s what we want to model through our lives as well.”
Caitlin Edwards is marketing and sales manager at Christianity Today.