FOR almost all of us, there comes a time when we are looking for a job. It may be our very first one or it may be one that we feel will be better than the job we have right now. There is more to looking for a job, though, than just checking newspaper advertisements, typing resumes, filling out applications, going through interviews. Showing a would-be employer that we are worth hiring requires us to know who we are and what has meaning in our lives. Such self-knowledge is not the outcome of psychological techniques or seminars. It stems instead from a deeper understanding of man's relationship to God and of man's actual, spiritual nature. Developing this knowledge can enrich what we bring to a job as well as what we hope to get from it.
This occurs because understanding man's true relationship to God forces us to stop thinking of ourselves in material terms. Instead of calculating how many years of school we have (or don't have), how many jobs we've had (or not), and so forth, we have to change our standpoint and see ourselves as in reality totally spiritual. At first, the thought that man is spiritual might seem to have little relevance to our job search. But, in fact, spiritual qualities and thoughts are intimately related to any pursuit of excellence.
For example, being a typist may not seem very spiritual. Yet there's more to typing than hitting keys: doing the work correctly is an affirmation of our intelligence, and intelligence has a spiritual basis. It is a quality of God, of divine Mind. And because it comes from God, we, His creation, can never lose it or be without it. Similarly, cooking dinners in a restaurant, even though for strangers, is an opportunity to express love, and as the Bible so clearly tells us, ``God is love.''1
Some might argue, however, that you don't need to express love to succeed in business. That it might be better if you didn't! This is where the life of Christ Jesus can be a wonderful example. Think of the influence of Jesus' career, which has lasted for nearly two millenniums and is ever increasing. The basis for all he did was Christ, the true idea of God, and accompanying this was his sure knowledge that man is inseparable from his Father, Spirit. This knowledge gave him the confidence to do the work he was meant to do. He knew that he could trust God, Love, to lead him and those who follow him.
In our search for a job, then, we can also rely on Love to show us our spiritual nature and to lead us to the right place to express it. As Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: ``Love inspires, illumines, designates, and leads the way. Right motives give pinions to thought, and strength and freedom to speech and action.''2
As our motives take on a more spiritual cast, and we feel a desire to express love toward God and toward our fellow beings, we will be more open to God's guidance. Strengthened by this love, we will also be less likely to limit ourselves. We will be able to see more of the spiritual qualities -- peace, joy, wisdom, purity, to mention just a few -- that we can bring to our work. Even a humble job, if done with love and joy, can open the way to new horizons.
Finding the right job isn't always easy, but prayer will enable us to see ourselves more clearly and to discern our deepest desires. It will also help us to make the right choice when we are offered a position because we will be seeing the work offered in more spiritual terms.
1I John 4:16. 2Science and Health, p. 454.