Finding Fulfillment in Career/Job


I am dealing with ambiguity at the moment. I have been made redundant for the third time. It seems that I am job searching most of the time in my life. Every time I train and grow in the areas that I like but I wonder how can I be more successful and find my vocation or dharma? I know what I like and am good at but its hard to translate that into a corporate function. I am paying attention to signs but is there a practical way to find my path?

—Geraldine, Australia


Dear Geraldine,

Finding satisfaction in work or career is as elusive as finding happiness in love or marriage! Life on earth, in the realm of duality (the unceasing play of opposites), will never be wholly satisfying to the human heart without God. By this I mean, without transcendence; non-attachment; devotion; and the God’s eye perspective on the impermanence of material life, we can never know peace of mind.

To paraphrase Paramhansa Yogananda, “Without God, life is a nest of troubles. With God, life is joy.” The secret to finding fulfilment in your work is to perform your work with joy, non-attachment to the results, without self-interest and with an attitude of even-mindedness. See “work” as “service and devotion” and you will find within you the satisfaction you seek.

Now, of course, for each and every one of us, some tasks are more satisfying to our own nature and unfoldment. You can increase the odds of attracting suitable work by loving what you until, over time, your magnetism of joy and love become so strong that the universe MUST find you that which is yours to do.

Nonetheless, the strands of karma are both invisible and strong. It is better to remain centered, in the Self, and do what must be done with the right attitude (as described above). Even if the perfect job came along, maybe you’d once again find yourself “redundant.”

Try to focus, however, on what aspects of soul qualities attract you to serving. For example, do you especially enjoy helping your co-workers? Customers? Or, perhaps instead: Do you enjoy focused concentration tasks where you work somewhat apart from others doing things like assembling something; or designing, analyzing, or planning? Do you enjoy working with a team?

Whatever it is, don’t focus on the details but focus on the attitudes and energies of what attracts you and brings you satisfaction. After all, if you a great team player, you can find a team in practically any kind of work environment. So don’t focus on the industry or job, per se, but on the “energy” of what you are attracted to.

In all cases, consider that no work is more important than that done to please God (by love and mindfulness). The practice of “japa,” devotional mindfulness (using silent affirmation, prayer, or mantra) can bring you deep satisfaction no matter what your assigned task. Any task can be an act of devotion (provided it is not illegal or harmful or unethical!). Indeed, every task should be an act of devotion.

Krishna, in the Bhagavad Gita, tells us: “Even a leaf I accept if offered with devotion!”

Blessings and joy to you!

Nayaswami Hriman
Seattle WA USA