Career Spirituality

The Connection Between Spirituality and Career


Career SpiritualityHow often have you heard defining your career is an inside job?

If so, or even if you have not, ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you now looking for work out of desperation?
  • Are you more concerned about getting the job just because you have the skills or because the job appeals to you?
  • Are you applying for everything and anything you can put your hands on that you think you may qualify for out of “guilt”?
  • Are you doing everything that the career gurus say to do (at least the ones you find for free on the internet) to find a job, but feel deep inside that there is something still missing?
  • Did you take their advice, get the job, and once you got there ended up wanting to leave after the first week, month… you get the picture.

If you are buying into the song and dance that “the economy” has something to do with why you may still find pieces missing in the work you are doing, no worries, you are not reading this by mistake.

This is not an article about how to find your spiritual path.

However, this is an article that will not sugar coat the fact finding your true career direction – the one that represents who you are as a person — requires going inside for the answers first.

By that I mean allowing yourself to dream the big dream and connect with the part of you that wants to have it all… and defines precisely what that is.

So you may ask yourself (or me), “Yes, but what does this have to do with reality.”

Here is my answer: everything.

Here’s why: If we are perpetually using the “economy” or some other reason why we are not finding our dream job or finding a job at all and blaming others – our boss, our co-workers, our spouses, significant others, etc., guess what happens?

Correct – square one. By defining our dream work from an inner perspective, we are literally creating enormous possibiities.

It never ceases to amaze me when I witness my clients make that shift to knowing without a doubt where they are going next in their careers, and exude confidence. Doors begin to open and opportunities abound.

However, I must confess not everyone is ready in his or her life cycle to make this shift. It can bring up a host of feelings such as regret, guilt, resistance, and even anger at even having to look within for the answers.

Some even give up and go back to the same old same old.

My question to you is, are you ready?

My brother is a great example. I love him dearly. Yet, he is struggling with returning to a job in the career he is “comfortable” with and, leaving the exact job that has created more grief and disharmony than anyone should have to deal with in a lifetime.

If he returns to this career, he can be assured of experiencing the same challenges and perhaps reaching a breaking point that could have physical repercussions. We are now working together on a way for him to take the time to do the inner work that will allow joy to come back into his life by creating opportunities for him to do what he is truly meant to do.

It is not surprising he has Career ADD.  How much he is willing to accept, let go, and redefine is up to him.

Here are a few examples of steps you can take to get the inner ball rolling:

  • Relax and decide that you are going to take the time to discover now what you have spent perhaps a lifetime eluding – Career Happiness.
  • Make a list of EVERYTHING in your past jobs that you did not like or that you were resistant to.
  • Include in this list every task, skill, type of people or specific people and why you think you did not resonate with them, working environment (down to the type of chair you sat in), product you were selling or involved with through your work, industry you were in, etc. that made you feel bad.
  • Now take that list and decide what the opposite of each item is for you – in other words what is your PREFERENCE to what you have listed (not necessarily the literal opposite). You must be completely honest or this will not work.

Congratulations! You have begun your inner journey to career happiness. This will be vital information to use in developing a career direction.

Career spirituality image from Shutterstock

Shell Mendelson

Founder of NB Careers. Specializes in guiding individuals with Career ADD and Career Paralysis to define career direction.

One comment

  1. Ms. Mendelson,

    This is a subject I’ve often thought about-both during the four years I spent unemployed and since I was hired earlier this year. Despite much self-analysis, list making, and trying to be starkly honest about my likes, dislikes, etc., I came to realize that I have no “dream” job-and I’m not convinced that everyone else does, either.

    The concept is attractive, but I believe it’s fundamentally flawed: if everyone actually defined and then searched for that elusive dream job or career, who would be collecting the trash, or cleaning up crime scenes, or processing meat? Who would handle irate customer complaints, mine coal, or make collection calls?

    I believe that it’s possible to find contentment and perhaps a measure of fulfillment in whatever you do to keep a roof over your head. I know that was the case for me when I did janitorial work part-time while I searched for jobs in my own field. I never enjoyed the work, found it challenging, or considered making building services my career, but I was able to glean some small satisfaction from doing the job to the best of my abilities.

    The job I have now is more in line with my education and experience, but it’s hardly a dream. Nonetheless, I am grateful to have it and apply my efforts to it diligently every day. I believe people would be happier if they stoppped worrying so much about that dream job that’s out there somewhere and engaged themselves more fully in the job they’re blessed to have right now.

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