Looking for a career that reflects your values?

As many of our world leaders are commendably declaring a climate emergency, funding much needed biodiversity and social equality initiatives, and debating on policies to achieve a proposed ‘new normal’ – there are still billions of dollars being poured into the same ‘business as usual’ initiatives that have been driving the climate emergency, ecocide, human inequalities and health crises present in our world.

Initiatives such as further subsidising fossil fuels; approving trade treaties to grant more freedom to the neoliberal agenda to exploit and devastate local communities; and promoting ‘alternative’ green economies that still place human centric values and the sustainability of our Western energy intensive lifestyles at the centre – rather than the sustainability of all living beings in our one human and earth family.

A blinkered focus on unlimited economic growth, in whatever form it is being sold to us, cannot co-exist with a life sustaining future.

For those of us who are inquiring into approaches to business, career and livelihood that are not ‘business as usual’ we are longing for our work to be an expression of our true values.

We want our career to be meeting real needs, and to be part of the renewal of life – not the extraction of it.

Albert Einstein is attributed as saying: “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.”

In order for businesses, organisations, and career professionals to play our part in the collective movement to regenerate our communities and planet, we first need to change our thinking.

We need to return to the original intention for our work, and reassess our underlying attitude about whom our career is here to serve.

Wisdom traditions around the world have been teaching us for centuries that our outer world is a reflection of our inner world.

In recent years, neuroscience research has also been revealing to us that our values influence how we perceive, decide and act.

This means we first need to get our inner orientation right first.

The outer crises we see in our world – the climate emergency, the refugee crises, the global economic crisis, the widening gap between rich and poor, the mass extinction of species, the increasing numbers of people suffering from violence, oppression, homelessness, job insecurity, depression, stress and loneliness – are all inter-related.

At the root of all these crisis is an inner spiritual crisis. Our collective society has placed individualistic values at the centre – rather than values that support our shared existence – with Nature and each other as one human family.

Across the sectors of economics, business, law, education, holistic science, humanities, philosophy, media, spirituality, faith, and the arts, there is a growing awareness of the inter-related unity of all that is.

A beautiful Irish phrase encapsulates an affirmation that we are stronger in unity together: “Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine.” We witness this same consciousness of interconnection present in the African philosophy phrase ‘Ubuntu’ – I am, because you are.

When we see our career through the light of the eyes of unity, we understand that our capacity to thrive is interdependent on everyone else being granted the same opportunity. We become attentive to the needs and wellbeing of the whole.

As a contemplative, I’m of the inner orientation that work is a gift from Source. It is not just a tool for livelihood. Our career offers us the opportunity to serve the dignity of all in our one human and earth family.  Through work we can unleash our creativity, share our gifts and live more of our potential in service to meeting the real needs present in our world today.

If we approach our career from a place that puts ourselves and our personal at the centre,  then our work will be limited by the individualistic consciousness that we bring to it, and we will perpetuate more ‘business as usual’ outcomes.

As a career change consultant, an increasing number of executives and professionals are informing me that their job search opens up very real ethical explorations for you personally and professionally.

When you work in an organisation that is not aligned with your values, it creates a lot of stress in your system.This is because your soul is an inherent and essential aspect of your reality and wellbeing. The primary function of the soul is to hold integrity with your True Nature. You can only do this when you choose to live in a way that is aligned with your fundamental values.

When you are not living true to your values, you marginalise your soul. Over time, this has the potential to dilute your sense of self, reduce your vitality, and draw real joy, meaning, nourishment and inner fulfilment from your experience of everyday life.

The journey of right livelihood is unique and individual for each person. Some people’s life situations require them, at least for the time being, to continue working for corporations that are still serving the consumer-centric agenda.

Many of these professionals are serving to bring more diversity, equality, and inclusion initiatives forward in these organisations, and working to bring as much light in as possible.

Other career professionals have reached a point where they feel they are compromising their vitality by staying, and are urgently looking for alternatives – especially if these organisations aren’t living true to their climate and social responsibilities.

Many other professionals are transitioning their careers to work in organisations that are meeting real needs in climate action, biodiversity, humanitarian, circular local economies, earth rights, tech4good, and so forth.

Other clients are creating new forms of livelihood that are generating real solutions and new economic models.

What would our careers look like if we placed a value for life’s inter-relatedness at the centre?

I don’t pertain to have the answer to this question, but I do have a series of questions I’ve been pondering in my heart over the years which may offer some prompts for your reflection too:

Who/what is my career intended to serve?

Have I offered my career to the Divine/Creator/Source/Love, or am I imposing my own agenda? 

How does my career contribute to larger efforts for social, ecological and societal transformation?

Is my work serving real needs, or is it serving unnecessary desires in our extractive consumer driven society?

In each of my decisions, am I taking into consideration the whole of life and future generations, or is my career just concerned with its own survival and goals?

Am I attuned to listening to what the Divine/Source/Love wants for me and my work? 

What are my ethical responsibilities as a leader/as a colleague?

This time of global crisis presents many opportunities for us to co-create redemptive, life sustaining work. I look forward to walking with you as we work together with grace for a more beautiful, kind and equitable world for future generations to come.

About The Author

Lynda Morrissey is a senior recruitment management consultant, and the founder of Croíadh, a right livelihood career change consultancy. 

She is an international career, executive and leadership coach with a 13+ year global recruitment consultancy career serving in some of the worlds leading Human Rights, Humanitarian, Environmental Protection, and United Nations founded organisations.  

The Croíadh Career Change Navigation Framework™ helps you gain the clarity and confidence to navigate a meaningful career transition, while cultivating greater levels of vitality.  

Our unique career transition strategy blends some of the worlds leading modalities in career change consultancy, interview coaching, transformational coaching, personal development, and mindfulness somatics. 

Email: lynda@croíadh.com