As I said not long ago to a dear friend of mine, I’m not a Hermes priestess, I just do his work. In many ways Hermes is a primary patron of our house, and he is well honored here. One of my many strange sidelines out in the world is that I lead employment workshops where I coach people about, frankly, thinking about employability, creating the conditions for income generation and keeping the idea of career in perspective. Too many people focus their energies merely on getting a job that will let them do what they love. I’m seriously not convinced that is the best strategy for having a whole and balanced life, but this is an Aphrodite blog with a Hermes practice in it, so I won’t get too far afield with that sort of philosophic musing—at least not today. What I will say, though, is that I really want to see more people out there feeling stable and abundant. It struck me as I was assembling practices for my workshops that I could adapt some of them in a way that might work well for Pagans, and so I will just put those here. Hopefully no one will mind.
Envisioning your life holistically is about the best thing you can do to help you make good decisions about employment, and this is a very magickal act. What do you want to have time for? What are your priorities? What do you need funds for? What do you need free time for? And, importantly, who do you want to have around you?
One thing we know about getting employment is that it’s frequently about who you know, and I’m not sure a lot of us think that way, or want to think that way, about getting a job. There’s this idealized cultural story we all tell that getting a good job is about how good we are and what’s on our resume, or even how we present ourselves, but functionally that’s just not the case, and so a lot of us put a great deal of energy into job seeking activities that may not yield the best results. Your circle of friends and your network is a very important resource, perhaps your most important, and not just because well-connected friends can open doors. Your friends should also inspire you and support you, stoke your creativity and your intellect, and make you want to genuinely strive. Having a good, solid network is a source of stability and also intellectual and physical well being.
Many Pagans have ancestor altars which help them connect to lineage (genetic or cultural) and these frequently serve as sources of inspiration. I am going to suggest that perhaps if you are looking at a life shift and need a bit of direction that you consider doing a Network Altar to help guide you, and that you make it aspirational. For extra Hermes points, you can create this on Pintrest. Think about the network you would like to have in addition to the one you already have. Which friends do you have who inspire you the most? Who would you like to hang out with or work with? Do you want to drink beer with high end geeks or have cocktails with novelists? Don’t just put your friends on there, put other cool people you don’t know on there! Make a sacred space that in some way expresses the social and professional milieu in which you envision yourself. Think about what features of this network you like and admire and contemplate how well you feel you connect to them. Are there qualities they have that you feel you don’t? How can you best cultivate these qualities?
Then, consider concrete ways that you might start actually building that network. Are there linkedin profiles or FB public profiles that you can connect to? Meetups that might help you learn new skills and meet new people? Also, this might be time to consider what isn’t working about your network. Are there people holding you back in some way? People you perhaps shouldn’t be investing in quite as much? It is time to make a subtle shift in direction? Remember, real magick is about breaking a sweat. Envision your network and see yourself firmly as a vibrant person embedded within it, and then go find these people!
Who you want to be isn’t just about the work that you do. There’s a much wider picture. You are part of a system, and we can all be empowered to make some choices about who else is there with us in this life. And in terms of employment strategies, we know that professional networks are important, and so are your friends. Friends are important in all things.