Young career starters worldwide: sustainability and faith as a life content

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Copyright:  Images by Anke Ernst.

Anke Ernst goes on a world tour after completing her studies - to gain experience and to become aware of her own professional goals. She speaks to young people worldwide about their attitude to life and work. occupations pictures

Here writes for you:


Anke Ernst anke-ernst_index-magazin_dusseldorfAnke Ernst is the editor-in-chief of the art magazine INDEX in Düsseldorf and a freelance journalist for travel, art and culture.


From the author:



His beard once went to his bones. A red, bushy beard. In Trogir (Croatia) Noel had stopped cutting him. His beard grew unhindered somewhere in the wilderness of the state of Washington. Now his beard is off.

I meet Noel in San Francisco, where he spends a few days vacationing. He is 27, chemical engineer and comes from Portland. Thanks to the internet community CouchSurfing we spend the night with the same host.

As I entered, Noel politely stood up, gave me a hand, and introduced himself. He is immediately sympathetic to me. After a trip to Alcatraz, I ask him if he wants to tell me about his life. He is only confused, then tense and agrees.

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Disorientation after graduation

He had completed his studies with 22 years, but was burned out of exams and the many boring and internships, one each summer. Also from the relationship with a girl, who took the two again and again and finally left completely. Noel felt empty. After completing his studies, he wanted to do two things: doing something different - and traveling.

So it was that for two weeks in Trogir he cleaned huge machines in a ship's engine. After that, Noel linked to what was today one of the most important moments of his life: the conversion to the Christian faith at the age of 17 years.

Journey to the self

After physical work in Croatia, he embarked on a complicated journey into the wilderness of Washington. Metaphorically, in the thicket of his self. He first took a bus, then a boat, and hitchhiked the last piece to a liberal Christian community of Lutherans. In the three months he stayed there, he did not find God, but realized that he could not run away from his home situation.

He moved back to Portland. He couldn't unravel the beard, so he cut it off. He took an engineering job to pay the bills. Went standard dancing. He joined the community “Imago Dei” [Latin for “image of God”] and asked God to find him after searching for the god in vain.

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Now it's uphill

The sun dazzles Noel a bit and with narrowed eyes and a grin he tells me over coffee at Fisherman's Wharf that he is now going uphill.

With the long 40 week of week Noel can live, because he gets along well with his colleagues. But his work also fulfills him because sustainability is important to him and his company sells products that clean rainwater and thus keep lakes, rivers and oceans in ecological balance.

For a year, his favorite year so far, he had received subtle, small signs from God. He was searching for grace and an overarching truth that, as he says, is being experienced by everyone. Today he is sure that this truth exists.

Participated in the Nacktradrennen

Did God encourage him to participate in naked bike races? Anyway, Noel did it. First in a large group at night, then once during the day when he had expected as many participants. Unfortunately only 40 came and the small group unexpectedly met a parade, the end of which they were then asked to form. “I don't want to know how many people have nude pictures of me. I don't even have them myself. ”

In the future, Noel wants to marry. For him marriage is a lifelong commitment that helps the partners to become better people. The willingness not to leave the others, no matter what happens, he does not consider for untimely romance, but for realism. Man is a social being, he says.

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Main thing human

What I like about Noel so much is his humanity. He acts to do good to others. When a homeless man asks us for a dollar, Noel gives him his hand and then the money. He says to me that it does not matter to him what the man does with the main thing he notices that he is respected.

As is so often the case, I realize that today we have the freedom to choose our own faith. This is positive, but at the same time it means a certain disorientation for many people.

An example that gives hope

Even in Noel's life, I can see how difficult it has been for him to find a belief that puts his values ​​and his life in a larger context. His convictions offer him real support today.

And Noel's example gives hope. There is work that is well paid - and that enriches people and society in addition. I wonder, however, if this claim is luxury or if you can put it as an entrants to society? Noel deserves his luck.

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  1. Anke Ernst

    Dear Mr. Pansen,

    Thanks for your comment.

    It is not my intention to write fairy tales, but to portray young people and to show different ways of life. I know from my own experience that it is good to expand the horizon and to discover how other people have found their way. I would like to share this with my readers.

    Noel decided for the Christian faith. This is his - completely subjective and personal - decision which does not contain judgment on the faith of others and no universal truth. Whether his faith has something to do with the profession is also individually interpretable. Establishing an absolute success model contradicts my intention to report on different life-ways.

    I hope you will be able to read my report with more joy.

    If you have further questions or comments, please feel free to contact me.


  2. Simone Janson

    Hello Mr. Ransen,
    thank you for your comment. But we do not portray this story as a general success model and irritate me that you seem to have understood it so. We simply wanted to show that other people in other parts of the world have different attitudes to their job and their lives. To each his own.
    I see, for example, religiousness rather critical, but it belongs to this man. And even if it was pure happiness that he found the job, I dare to doubt: He has just studied something sensible, in so far as surely also a reasoning question.
    I will also forward your comment to the author.

  3. Hans Pansen

    Beautiful story, but as realistic as the distance to the sky itself. Clearly you can build air locks and think with beard shave off and believe in something goes on. Such stories will not work outside the US where nudity and faith play a greater role than mind. The boy had just been lucky in applying, now has a job earning money. Ok, it could have been God, but then is the devil the one who gave the refusal?

  4. Alma Mater

    RT @SimoneJanson: Frisch reblogged: Junge Berufseinsteiger weltweit: Sustainability and faith as life content - Teil 2

  5. Simone Janson

    Frisch Blogs: Serie - junge Berufseinsteiger weltweit: Sustainability and faith as a living content - Teil 2

  6. Florian Klein

    RT @Jobcollege: Series - Young Professionals Worldwide: Sustainability and Belief as a Life Content - Part 2: # Profession

  7. Competencepartner

    Series - young career starters worldwide: Sustainability and faith as part of life - Part 2: Anke ...

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