Thursday, November 15, 2018

How To NOT Hate Your Job : A Pagan Guide

Having a job you hate is something most of us will experience at least once in our lifetime. I myself have had several. In fact, I can only think of two general jobs that I've had which I didn't hate. Those being the one I have now, and when I worked for the Galena History Museum in Galena, Illinois. History was my passion, so it was like a dream job that I could make money every day doing something I loved. But many of us work, or have worked, jobs we hate or even despise. Some may even grow so depressed and distressed that they think suicide is preferable to continuing their life as is. Nevertheless, we press on because we need money, and knowing that we live in a society where everything is money-based, tends to make us even more angry in our job that we resent, especially if we're not making a good salary in the first place.

But for a Pagan, who is often a highly religious or spiritual person, there are ways to find that might allow you to either like your job, or at least not hate it, and that may even allow you to find a purpose.

First, think of what your current job entails. In other words, what do you do? Are you a salesmen? Food-maker? Office worker? Factory worker? Mechanic? Server? Waiter or Waitress? A cook? Whatever it may be, identify what it is you do and what the specific functions of that job are. Now comes a fun part. Pagans believe in a multitude of Gods, and the Gods enjoy taking part in our lives. They are fascinated by us. This is probably why there are so many Gods who are connected with daily human activities like labor, justice, and adventure. But whatever your job description is, find the God who is associated with it. For example, a teacher, educator, lecturer, or someone who works in the domestic arts like food preparation or service, would find Athena in their realm. Someone who works in a production factory or on any kind of machine like an assembly line or an auto-shop, would probably find a close companion in Hephaistos. Someone who works in the medical field in any capacity, is a servant of Apollo, Asklepios or Hygeia. If you work in forestry, or with animals and children, Artemis. If your job is in retail and commerce, Hermes. So keep going with this train of thought and conclusion until you find a God or Gods who are connected to your profession. You might even find Heroes to connect with, like Atalanta if you also work with children or forestry, or Bellerophon if you happen to work with horses, and Theseus if you work in democratic government settings, as anyone who works in American government would, like if you work for a courthouse or a lawyer's office.

Once you've found, essentially, the Patron God or Hero of your profession, make an offering and prayer to them each day before you go to work, dedicating yourself as their servant or advocate in that capacity of labor or service. You might even build them a shrine in your home for this specific purpose and dedicate it to them and that specific epithet relevant to your personal work life. For example, Hephaistos the Assembler, Athena of the Bakery, Hermes of the Store, Artemis of the Caretaker, Atalanta of the Park, or Theseus of the Law. By doing this, you take the Higher Powers and your religion to work with you. In this way, you may grow to see your job as a religious activity, connected to the Gods and Heroes you adore. Once this happens, you no longer see yourself as working for a boss or a company, but for the Gods, your community, and yourself. When you find inner productivity in your work, you won't hate it. As you love the Gods, they will love you, and you might even begin to love the community you serve in their names.

Secondly, each time you get paid, buy a little something you like. I always head to one of my local Goodwill stores because I am able to find so many wonderful things to decorate my home with, and even use for religious purposes, at very little cost. The more you do this, the more you will have things you enjoy, and you won't feel like there are no rewards from your job.

Thirdly, always be working toward something bigger. By that I mean to always be bettering yourself in whatever capacity possible. Finish college, apply for other jobs you might like more or that might start getting you to where you want to be, and even plan outings or trips to places you enjoy on your time off, even if it's just across town to your favorite restaurant.

Finally, think of a worst case scenario for yourself. You may not particularly like your job, but is it possible that things could be worse? Could you have a job you dislike even more? Could you have circumstances far worse than the present ones? Normally, during this examination, you will find that you don't have it so bad in more ways than one.

Sometimes, the way to enjoy something not so enjoyable or ideal, is to make purpose and the best of it to the best of your ability. When I worked for Walmart back in 2004 right out of high school, I despised it every minute, and a friend coworker of mine once told me, "You know why every day here is bad for you? Because you make it that way."

I'd also like to add that an excellent way to avoid hating your job is to work for yourself. It may sound unreachable, but there are actually a growing number of independent contractor jobs with places like GrubHub, DoorDash, and UberEats. These place generally pay people above the wages of regular jobs, and you may end up paying little to no taxes at the end of the year because your car and everything you buy for your job is considered a tax deductible business expense, even gas, mileage and oil changes. In short, you profit. You can even set your own hours entirely and be your own boss.

In the Goodness of the Gods,
Chris Aldridge.