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Author Topic: Morality suitable for a job at odds with (possible) religious morality  (Read 2769 times)

Kaio

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Currently I'm considering either going back to a form of religious witchcraft that I started to practice when I was twelve or thirteen, or practicing Wicca as presented in Cunningham's Wicca: A Guide For The Solitary Practitioner. The form of religious witchcraft that I started to practice when I was twelve or thirteen was based on a book written by a Brazilian man that presented it as Wicca, and I think it's not very different from the Wicca presented in Wicca: A Guide For The Solitary Practitioner, but I can be wrong because I didn't read through Wicca: A Guide For The Solitary Practitioner.

 I didn't reach the goals set by the company that I work for since I was hired, almost six months ago. By observing how my most successful coworkers reach said goals I realized that I could be much nearer to the goals set by said company, or even reach them, if I recurred to means that could be viewed as immoral by many Wiccans. OTOH it could be very bad for me and for my family if I got fired from this job.

 Has anyone here been in a similar situation?
When in Rome do as the Romans do. (Ambrose)

Jack

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Re: Morality suitable for a job at odds with (possible) religious morality
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2016, 12:52:20 am »
Quote from: Kaio;187087
Currently I'm considering either going back to a form of religious witchcraft that I started to practice when I was twelve or thirteen, or practicing Wicca as presented in Cunningham's Wicca: A Guide For The Solitary Practitioner. The form of religious witchcraft that I started to practice when I was twelve or thirteen was based on a book written by a Brazilian man that presented it as Wicca, and I think it's not very different from the Wicca presented in Wicca: A Guide For The Solitary Practitioner, but I can be wrong because I didn't read through Wicca: A Guide For The Solitary Practitioner.

 I didn't reach the goals set by the company that I work for since I was hired, almost six months ago. By observing how my most successful coworkers reach said goals I realized that I could be much nearer to the goals set by said company, or even reach them, if I recurred to means that could be viewed as immoral by many Wiccans. OTOH it could be very bad for me and for my family if I got fired from this job.

 Has anyone here been in a similar situation?

 
I'm really curious what sort of means these are. Do you feel that doing your job well harms people?

I've certainly been in positions where I wondered if the work I was doing was in the best interests of my clients or not. In the end, I ended up leaving that job, but given the right company I'd be willing to go back into the field.

You might consider looking for essays on what's called "right livelihood" in Buddhism - the specifics of the moral system are not the same, but the difficulties of navigating the obligation to support your family with wanting to do something that you feel comfortable doing is at the center of that discussion.
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Kaio

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Re: Morality suitable for a job at odds with (possible) religious morality
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2016, 11:05:15 am »
Quote from: Jack;187088
I'm really curious what sort of means these are.


 Extensive lying, hiding information that a coworker could need to attain good results, altering information that a coworker could need to attain good results, cheating, stealing clients from coworkers, not helping my supervisor and my team to enforce norms that some coworkers break in order to reach their goals and that I may come to break too, etc..

 
Quote from: Jack;187088
Do you feel that doing your job well harms people?


 Doing my job well does not necessarily harm people, but it definitely can harm people.
When in Rome do as the Romans do. (Ambrose)

Jack

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Re: Morality suitable for a job at odds with (possible) religious morality
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2016, 11:34:36 am »
Quote from: Kaio;187101
Extensive lying, hiding information that a coworker could need to attain good results, altering information that a coworker could need to attain good results, cheating, stealing clients from coworkers, not helping my supervisor and my team to enforce norms that some coworkers break in order to reach their goals and that I may come to break too, etc...

Oh, backstabbing office drama. Hmm, have you ever read the blog Ask A Manager? I think in this situation she'd recommend you talk to your boss and ask what they recommend you do to get results like the top performers, and see what they say.

Also maybe start job hunting if you haven't already.
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Jenett

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Re: Morality suitable for a job at odds with (possible) religious morality
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2016, 01:00:15 pm »
Quote from: Kaio;187101
Extensive lying, hiding information that a coworker could need to attain good results, altering information that a coworker could need to attain good results, cheating, stealing clients from coworkers, not helping my supervisor and my team to enforce norms that some coworkers break in order to reach their goals and that I may come to break too, etc..


Thanks for a bit more of the details. I think there's a big issue there, and maybe not just for the reason you think.

First, there's the question of how you're treating other people: that's not a job I'd be comfortable in, and it sounds like it's a generally competitive and unsupportive workplace that can easily turn toxic (if it isn't already) in ways that can damage your long-term health, job security, etc.

Which is not a great long-term position to be in.

I'm guessing that it involves sales, somehow? There *are* people who do sales work, even with really demanding quotas, and do it in an ethical way, but some of that depends on having a certain amount of autonomy in how you do the sales. (and I'm going to talk about this at some length because even if it's not sales, it might give you some ideas.)

I know someone (a witch and priest I highly respect) who spent a chunk of his career doing medical sales for high-end medical devices.

That part of his life included the time when he started training in initiatory witchcraft through to after his 3rd degree. Toward the end of that, he started looking at changing careers, went back to school, and is now a licensed therapist who does a lot of work supporting people who really need it.

Which is to say, he came to the decision that his previous line of work was not in keeping with his ethics, but he also didn't just immediately quit his job without another option. Over a couple of years he figured out how to move into something that did suit him better.

Anyway, while he was doing sales, he also committed to doing it as ethically as he could. This is really hard work: he had to be as good or better than the people who took shortcuts, who stepped on other people to get better sales, and so on. (And he was very good at it : by the time I met him, he was regularly getting sales awards.)

He had to spend time seeking out and connecting with people in the company who felt like he did, and where they would support each other in their quotas and goals in ways they felt were more ethical. He also spent a huge amount of time just making sure he absolutely knew his stuff, so he could give the best possible level of service, as pleasantly and fully as possible.

(and incidentally, this is somewhere where some kinds of ethical glamour magic can be very helpful: the 'Hi, I am a friendly person who would love to help with your questions with this product' kind, that is consistent with your self and your goals, and not manipulating them, just amplifying the way you want to come across.)

However, much of this worked because his company cared about results, and if he wanted to do the extra work to get them a way he was comfortable with they were fine with that as long as it didn't cost them time or money. If he'd been in a more restricted role where he had to do things a certain way, it wouldn't have worked so well for him.

So, the other part of it: the question of integrity.

There's a saying in a lot of witchcraft traditions that a witch's word is their power. If you believe that, then continually putting yourself in a position where you are lying, hiding or altering information, cheating, etc. is going to have a serious impact on your ability as a witch.

You can't say "My word, my will, make things happen" in one part of your life and "But they don't matter in this other part" and have that work out well, basically. You're still in both parts.

And finally, the third part is a question of industry and whether people are being harmed by your actions.

There's a huge spectrum here: I think medical sales are really problematic in some ways, for example (especially some techniques used in it) but the actual 'people make medical devices and drugs and want to convince hospitals to use theirs instead of someone else's' is not fundamentally a horrible thing to be doing.

It starts being horrible if there is lying or cheating or manipulation of data, or if people can not get treatment because the prevailing one is too expensive or doesn't work as well (but has a better sales force). Or if people are manipulated in way that mean that the end patient can't get the best treatment for them, within logistical ability.

On the other hand, many people would consider a job convincing people to buy more cigarettes or guns or other things like that that are often directly harmful to be much more ethically wrong. People draw those lines in different places.

So, the final question is what do you do about it? I think the question would depend on a lot of factors: are there jobs in your current industry you think would be different in the important ways? Are there skills that you're learning in your current job that would be significantly transferable to a different job that wouldn't have the same problems?

How much flexibility do you have about employment in terms of location, level of income, demands on you for salary and so on?

(I - single woman - make different choices about some things than someone who is in a dual income family with some flexibility to take a lower-paying job for a bit, or retrain in something, because I need income. But I've had the freedom to do two long distance moves for jobs because it's just me to think about.)

Anyway, for a lot of people, figuring out how to make the most of what they've got now, but also be actively working on an exit plan helps a lot. Usually it helps if you have an idea of a thing to move toward, not just get away from.

Sometimes that's sticking it out until they have enough time at current job they can move without it looking weird. (Though in the US, there's a certain amount of flexibility with moving out of something like sales if you can go "I tried it, but it's not for me." if it's your first job of that kind, even if it would otherwise be really soon to be job hunting.)

Sometimes it's figuring out how to get the most out of the current job - documentable skills, certifications, anything else that will be useful in later jobs - and then getting out, with as much integrity and self-respect as they can.

And sometimes it's just getting out. Testing the waters - trying some job applications for things that would not have your current set of problems - can be a good idea in that case. If you get interest, you can decide what to do next. If you don't, you can keep sticking it out.
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