News reports and surveys indicate that the world economy is going through a major sea change. Business operations and priorities are changing dramatically. Individual spending habits are also facing adjustments. Such a big shift in behavior can leave people wondering, "Will there be a place for me?"
The short answer is: yes, of course. As God's creation, there will always be a place for you. This place will be found more readily if you think in spiritual terms about yourself and your situation. There will always be a demand for what God is expressing in you – qualities such as creativity and intelligence, wisdom, organization, and balance.
One useful step in preparing to look for a job or to enhance your present position is to inventory your spiritual qualities and to value them. Doing the inventory may bring to light qualities that have been overlooked or underused and that could be quite helpful in this time of change. Because each individual is unique, no one has to feel that he or she is in competition with others who may have the same skill set or the same work experience. Spiritual qualities give each of us our own distinct identity that deserves to be expressed.
It can also be helpful to look at your motives for your actions and for your work as well. If there's no progress in the job hunt, it might be good to ask, "What's my motive for wanting a job?" It's understandable to want a job in order to pay bills, to care for the family, or simply to be solvent. But bringing a spiritual approach to motives uplifts them and helps you feel closer to God.
Mary Baker Eddy, who founded this newspaper, wrote quite a bit about motives in her book "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures." Two statements are particularly helpful during a job quest: "A wrong motive involves defeat" (p. 446) is a good indicator that envy, selfishness, resentment, or bitterness toward one's previous employer, won't be a productive line of thought. On the other hand, "... a right motive has its reward" (p. 453) encourages job-seekers to ask themselves how they can better serve humanity and God through their work. For example, praying about their qualities from the standpoint of how they could improve life in their community or neighborhood helps engage thoughts and prayers in meeting human needs in a tangible way. It shifts thought from focusing on one's own problems to helping others.
And a third statement in Science and Health helps explain why you can be confident, even if there's a delay in seeing the results of prayer: "Desire is prayer; and no loss can occur from trusting God with our desires, that they may be moulded and exalted before they take form in words and in deeds" (p. 1). Sometimes prayer is answered through the molding and exalting of our motives and desires.
Molding thoughts includes understanding oneself as a spiritual idea of God, not as a mortal who's fearful of being laid off or is already unemployed. No matter what you may feel, you have a God-defined identity and a God-given place that is yours alone. Nothing can separate you from God or from what God has provided for you. God will guide you, if you're willing to follow His direction, into ways to put your talents into practice.
In prayer, you can claim the reality of God's love as tangible and palpable. Trusting God will calm fear and enable you to feel the fathering and mothering presence of Love and the assurance that comes with it. Even if the work you're doing comes to an end, you can refuse to be afraid that needed good will go away. If one door closes, there already is development going on that will reveal the next step God has prepared. During that time, it's best to look forward and resist any temptation to look back. This approach will reveal the next step more quickly. But even now, the next stage of development has already been prepared for you, and you can trust God to bring you to it.
To explore these ideas further, listen to the chat "Looking for work? Polish your spiritual résumé" on www.spirituality.com.