We had the good fortune of connecting with Jazley Faith and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jazley, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
My views of balance change weekly – possibly daily – as this year has really forced me to rethink what I already thought was a very flexible lifestyle. I maintain balance by constantly checking in with myself:  how do I feel, what are my hard deadlines, what is guiding my priority list? After considering multiple timelines and my health, I make the best decision for myself. This process seems really simple, but when I first started freelancing, I often made decisions based on client needs and put myself second. I now know that if I am in the best frame of mind, I’ll work more efficiently and deliver the best result. Balance is really about taking present circumstances and turning them into best possible win-win situations.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Pre-COVID, when I first met people and they’d ask me what I did, I never gave the same answer twice. Some days, I was first and foremost a dance teacher. Others, I was ‘video producer’ to ‘art teacher’ to ‘photographer.’ The amazing part is that I am all these things. And this is what sets me apart. I used to be very morally stricken with the adage: jack of all trades, master of none. The fact that I had three resumés was a point of anxiety for myself, and my parents. But let me tell you, it is this very quality that kept me employed when the world shut down. Nowadays, I have a better idea of what my career is. I align myself with ‘digital content producer,’ with marketing experience. While these labels might accurately describe the more tangible output of what I do, I want people to know that my goal, always, is to make things human. I have a journalistic heart, which guides me towards the truth and seeing the unseen. I get to pick between photo, video, dance – whatever media form – to try to tell a story and show the beauty in the chaos. I try to do this without neglecting the ugly, dark, or sad part, because without it, it’s not the whole story. All of the things I do are really guided by one soul, towards one goal. And that is what keeps me busy.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’m fortunate to live in Orange County right now, which usually, has lots of spots to cater to many different tastes. I do love Downtown Santa Ana’s Arts District. There’s so much art and culture, as well as history in this area. I also love the Jazz Cafe at Downtown Disney – where my favorite bartender Ramón is working and there’s usually live music in the evening. If I got to choose, I would also show my friends salsa clubs in the area, although Floridita’s in LA with live music is my personal favorite.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are two people that I really need to acknowledge, and both of them are women in power: my bosses. I have had the privilege of picking the work that I do, and it is no accident that I gravitate towards women of color, who are visionaries in their field. Firstly, I need to thank Josephine Lee – CEO and Founder of ThePointeShop. Fresh out of college, I was laying in bed at 10am while all my other roommates were their 9-5 jobs. I was feeling sorry for myself, anxious that my once packed schedule, laid on my desk, bare and empty. I was scrolling through Instagram when I read the most honest and refreshing post about running a dance business. She ended it with “We’re hiring.” I immediately sat up, and emailed her. The rest is history. Jo, thank you so much for taking a chance on me. Although I didn’t have much experience, she gave me my first ‘adult’ job out of college, and now I’m producing weekly YouTube videos for an amazing, growing, niche channel. She trusts my instincts, gives me the time flexibility I need to have other jobs and pay my bills, and always encourages me to be myself. She is the face of the company and takes the heat, fearlessly protecting myself and our small team. Josephine is open-minded, fair, and thinks of me as human and artists first, employee second. Secondly, I need to acknowledge Dr. Dina Eletreby – Head of New Horizon Irvine School. During a time when I had 3 or 4 jobs, I got a referral and took an interview for a position I honestly had no clue about. I remember being confused and slightly embarrassed as I slid two resumés across her desk. But by the end of that interview, Dina had said something that I still carry with me today – that I didn’t have to do everything to be secure. She assured me that I was talented enough to be able to say in one place, and that I didn’t need to spread myself so thin with multiple jobs in multiple cities. I ended up being hired to create digital content for the Muslim school. And now, I also teach art electives to great kids. Dina, thank you for letting me see that I am enough. Thank you for loving my work, and for bolstering New Horizon to be a stronghold where I have found stability. She’s truly given me a space to exercise all my interests and passions, and allowed me to feel value in a more traditional job setting. Both of these women are visionaries. They dream so big and have grand ideas for the communities they lead. I feel so honored and blessed to be part of their teams, and specifically to be part of telling their stories through visual mediums. Insha Allah, and with many reverence curtsies, I say thank you.

Website: http://www.jazleyfaithphotography.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jazleyfaith.jpg/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jazley-faith-sendjaja-b830bb10b/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCx476uTUgWw7HbMNB0KSoEQ

Image Credits
Black & White Photo By Mia Alicea

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