I work in “inside sales.” I have previously been a debt collector, and a market researcher. All of these jobs have put strong emphasis on individual statistics. How does one equate that with a spiritual mandate against ego-consciousness?
My position in my current job, it has been made clear, is more about informing our potential clientele rather than making a lot of sales, though sales are certainly not frowned upon. They are celebrated well.
Just today I made my second sale of the week and the department supervisor came ’round to let the team know about it. To me, but also to the rest of the team, she said something like “I am very proud of you, and I am sure the others are too,” making a joke about how I’d pulled ahead.
So I reacted in a way that seemed natural to me at the time. I joked back “Well, I am happy for you, boss.” That may not seem to make any sense but I deflected any pride that I may have been tempted to indulge in, and showed gratitude for the sense of accomplishment my supervisor was feeling in the success she was seeing bear fruit from her training. A job well done, no doubt about it.
As for me, individual recognition is not a bad thing. But I try to get up each morning and give “all glories to the Lord” for all that comes my way. It helps to recognize that a lot of the people who are going to do business with me are people who probably were planning on doing so regardless of anything I say. I do right by my company by doing all I can to tilt the scales for a few clients toward a sale, as this is the modern version of the eternal dharma laid out by Bhagavan Krishna in the Gita. But for the most part the decision was made before I entered the picture. The credit comes to me as long as they don’t take action on that decision until after talking to me. And I can live with that.
And here is where another spiritual discipline enters the picture. It is good stewardship of wealth, or in my case, mere income, not wealth. And it is a good opportunity to remember the Ashta Lakshmi, the eight sources of wealth in the world.
“Jai Lakshmi Mata!”
Many jobs similar to mine come with incentives beyond the hourly wage for productivity. I try not to be frivolous when such incentives come. As I progress in the job I plan to make a quest out of giving more to the Self. Meaning others. It is the only way to detach oneself from the fruit of action in a job so closely associated with individual performance.