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Sports is Work: Jason Romano Interview

Mar 17, 2016

We will spend 90,000 hours of our lifetime at work. That’s a lot of time!

As a writer, speaker and pastor, I want my content to influence the way you engage your work because next to sleeping, it’s where you spend the majority of your time.

Last year, I began following Jason Romano on Twitter. Jason’s posts had been shared by several other people I follow and I loved his perspective and insights. He seemed to be really into sports too – which was a bonus for me. It turns out there is a reason he posted a lot from ESPN and SportsCenter.

Jason works for ESPN! He ran a lot of social media content during Super Bowl 50 and has overseen social media for most of ESPN biggest shows (SportsCenter, Sunday NFL Countdown, Monday Night Football, College GameDay). We conversed recently about his work at ESPN, his involvement at his church, along with his passion to integrate his faith and work while maintaining some sort of work/life balance. He shared some really helpful perspective with me. I know you’ll enjoy our conversation below!

Meet Jason Romano

Scott: Jason, thanks so much for sharing with us. Tell us a little bit about yourself. What roles do you play and where?

Jason: I’m a husband to the beautiful Dawn. A Dad to my amazing 12 year old, Sarah. I’m currently the Producer overseeing social media on Mike and Mike in the Morning. I’m also an elder on the leadership board at Hillside Community, a church here in Bristol, Connecticut.

SS: I first discovered you through your Twitter profile and then discovered your role at ESPN. What’s it like working for “the worldwide leader in sports”? What do you like about your job? 

JR: It’s been a blast serving at ESPN now for the past 16 years. They’ve been a great blessing to me and my family. I love how I get to work with some of the most creative and talented people in the broadcast industry. I love the passion everyone has to do the best job and put the best product possible on air.

SS: I’ve seen you post about doing some speaking in the church setting recently. Is that something you’ve been doing for a while and want to continue doing? What do you like to share about? 

JR: It’s something I’ve been doing more of the past 2-3 years and I’ve grown to love it. I have no idea if I’m any good at it but people continue to ask me to speak and share, so apparently God wants me on that platform for a reason. I’ve even preached 2 sermons at my church which is something I NEVER imagined doing in my life. I love to share about my life, my testimony of faith, and some of the trials and struggles I’ve walked through. Two topics I especially like to share about are “forgiveness” and “sharing your faith at work.”

If you want to learn more about forgiveness, check out my popular new ebook – Forgiveness: From Myth to Reality.

SS: This interview series began by exploring the subject of fear with my guests. What does the voice of fear sound like for you? 

JR: The voice of fear sounds like a small voice of doubt that creeps in whenever I’m pursuing God’s calling. That could be at work, at home, or at church. Fear also hits me when I think about my daughter and what the future holds for her.

SS: What helped you become courageous in the face of fear? 

JR: Surrounding yourself with people who you can be real and transparent with has helped. Also really diving deep into God’s word and seeking Him.

Jason Romano on Work and Serving

SS: What is the most challenging piece of your job currently? 

JR: Right now, the most challenging part is waking up each morning at 4am and then staying awake each evening with my family for that bonding time. Managing that time each day is essential but also sometimes difficult.

SS: How do you navigate the challenge of work/life balance? 

JR: I’ve also been a huge proponent of work/life balance. It can be difficult to balance it though when you work for such a large corporation. Personally, I’ve always wanted to place a high priority on work/life balance but often times I’ve failed at separating the two the way I would have liked.

SS: Thanks for the honesty, Jason. It’s a struggle for all of us! Most of my readers are involved in the marketplace and I know some of them struggle to see the meaning and value of their work, beyond profit margins. What would you say to them about how they make their work life meaningful and significant? 

JR: I think Colossians 3 says it perfectly —  “whatever we do, do everything as though we’re representing God, not men.” That’s the best advice I can give. Approach work as serving and look to serve others as Jesus did. We’ll always fail on occasion, but in striving for perfection, we can reach excellence.

SS: What would you say to one of my readers who is working in the marketplace about how they integrate their faith and their work?

JR: The best way to integrate your faith at work is in how you serve others. We should never force our faith into the workplace but we should be a great example of Christ by how we approach our work. Loving, serving and caring for our fellow employees. One of the great quotes I’ve read and try to adhere to is “preach the gospel at all times, if necessary, use words.” People should see our faith through the way we treat others and they should see excellence in the way we strive to produce at the office.

Connect with Jason Romano

You can follow Jason Romano on Twitter – he’s @jasonromano.

You should also check out his blog – jasonromano22.com.

Thanks so much for sharing with us, Jason. Each of us can serve the people we work with today and make a big difference in our jobs!

 

Updates:

Since this post went live, Jason has made a big change. He left ESPN in February 2017 after nearly 17 years at “the mothership.” Jason is now partnering with organizations to succeed with digital and social media. He is hosting a new podcast for Sports Spectrum, about sports and faith. And he’s writing a book about forgiveness.

If you want to follow his Monday morning devotional series, you can subscribe here.

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