People usually come to the tarot looking for a greatly-desired change in their lives. But, guess what? If you want change, you have to make changes. You can use the tarot to identify directions in which to make changes, to consider choices more deeply and look at their possible ramifications, and as a reality check to help you to avoid lying to yourself about what it is you really want. In the end, though, it won’t do you much good to JUST read the tarot. You also have to do the work. That’s one of the reasons we often ask for advice in a tarot spread–so you can act on the advice, right? This is one in a series of blog posts that focuses on just that: acting on advice, and doing the work.*
So, you’re looking for work, and you do a tarot reading (with a reader or on your own). There are lots of approaches you could take to this with the tarot:
- You could verify your own best fit, to yourself, by doing a spread, such as an Ikigai spread, that looks at your possible vocation in terms of the intersection of what you love, what you are good at, what the world needs you to do, and what you can be paid for.
- You could consider general geographic areas with a compass rose spread, asking the tarot what sorts of opportunities await you in each direction.
- You could narrow down your choices with a choices spread, in which you ask what types of consequences might result from your choice to move in a particular direction compared to another direction or compared to staying put.
- You could also ask tarot what aspects of your personal life are most important for you to accommodate in your career if you want to be happy. For example, you might pull Temperance or the Two of Pentacles, indicating a need for balance, either a work-life balance that gives you time with your family and time to recharge, or a balance between competing roles, maybe even competing jobs or businesses that both want to partake of ALL your time and attention.
Not only are these all great things to consider, and maybe not only through tarot but also through a bit of self discovery and self reflection, and perhaps some journaling, but in addition, the time you take to reflect on the best possible direction and the most to-be-desired outcome will save you time when it comes to doing the work of looking for that ideal job.
Since the topic of science has been coming up lately, perhaps this is a good time to also note that you could use tarot for this kind of reflection whether you “believe” in tarot as a spiritual tool or not. Because even if you don’t “believe” in tarot (and what does that even mean?), you can still use it as a creative tool that helps you to understand yourself and your needs and talents.
So let’s look at some common areas in which the tarot might call on you to DO THE WORK when it comes to your job hunt.
The Opportunity Waiting in the Wings
Let’s talk about a particular card that often comes up when someone is ready to make a career jump: the Ace of Pentacles. This card suggests to me that an opportunity is waiting in the wings for you. As Rumi says, “what you seek is seeking you.” But beware: it might not keep seeking you forever. If you want a job to successfully come and find you, start looking for one.
When the Ace of Pentacles comes up, it would be a good time to put feelers out into your community: talk to your contacts, read job announcements or classified ads, send out resumes. What if an opportunity is waiting in the wings, ready to come and find you, but you haven’t provided it with a path?
So when this card comes up, if you hope to make a career change, you have your homework pretty well cut out for you:
- Update your resume. Spruce it up. Make it look nice.
- Send out your resume. This might include uploading it to job hunting sites, like Monster.com, Indeed, Virtual Vocations, Flex Jobs, Every Job for Me, and even LinkedIn. But you can go beyond that, by sending your resume directly to companies you’d like to work for. If they don’t have a current opening, you can include a “this is just for your file” note. If you’re not sure who to send your resume to at a given company, Google them and look for a contact us, careers, or about tab on their home page.
- Of course, you should also make your resume accessible to your family and friends so that they can talk you up to potential hirers.
- Moreover, you should have considered, or be in the process of considering, what date you could start, where you will look geographically, who might recommend you, when you can carve out time in your schedule for interviews, etc.
- You should have in mind an amount of money that you want to earn in your new job. Yes, even if you feel hesitant and low on self-confidence. There is an amount that you want and need to earn, period. Make it your policy to apply only for jobs that fit your requirements. While you’re sussing out your income requirements, take some time to consider your required benefits, as well.
The Work-Life Balance Challenge
But what if you pulled a card that talks about balance? Then you might have different homework. You might need to do things like the following:
- Talk to your significant other about your plans.
- Sort out any needed childcare arrangements, including who will care for your children when you are interviewing.
- Ask yourself hard questions, like, do I have money saved to cover a potential crisis? If this is too stressful a question to think about, and definitely too stressful a question to address with your significant other, then you might want to do some work around that stress. Go and find Bari Tessler’s podcast (here are links for it on Itunes and SoundCloud) or book, The Art of Money, for some strategies that will help with that.
The Need for Further Education
Another possibility to consider, when you are thinking about work options, is whether you have the right background and education for the job that you’re interested in. What if you need to go back to school? In that case, the tarot might show you the Hierophant, or perhaps one of the Pages: the Page of Swords (law school, journalism, an MFA in creative writing, perhaps?), the Page of Cups (psychology, counseling?), the Page of Pentacles (botany? medicine? nursing? health technician training?), the Page of Wands (acting? real estate certification? why do I think of those two things together?). What actions could you take if you think this is the direction in which your reading is pointing you?
- Take any relevant tests that are needed to apply to schools.
- I’m listing this in backwards order, but, you know, please study for those tests.
- Make a list of schools that specialize in the field you’re interested in; find out their prerequisites and tuition; look into financial aid. Basically do all your research.
- Apply! And see what happens. Even if you think you can’t afford it–because sometimes the money doesn’t appear until the educational opportunity is a go. And no, I’m not describing some woo woo phenomenon necessarily; I’m just saying that loans, grants, and scholarships often are dependent on you having first been admitted to the school in question.
Sometimes, though, cards like the Hierophant or the Pages can tell you that you need to learn in a different format than through formal education, so keep that in mind. You might need to check out the Occupational Outlook Handbook (if the Trump administration hasn’t defunded it by the time this post comes out) to find out more about careers that you didn’t know existed, or you might need to look at an apprenticeship or internship somewhere.
The Need to Involve a Mentor
So, what if your reading about a job hunt turned up a member of one of the tarot courts? I tend to think that in those cases, you should especially mine your contacts. You may know someone who is eager to act as a mentor to you, or someone whose advice you might ask for–someone who is represented by the King of Swords, or the Queen of Pentacles, for example. So your homework, then, is to reach out to those people. Don’t rule out your parents here, even if you don’t much like following their advice. They can still be very good contacts and very good givers of advice. They know your talents, and your strengths and weaknesses, better than most.
I would also not be surprised to see the Star recommending that you look to others for inspiration and guidance.
The Create Your Own Job Plan
I would be remiss if I didn’t discuss entrepreneurs here. Not all of us are cut out to work for other people. And some of us have talents that don’t fit neatly into predetermined categories. If the cards are suggesting to you that you consider becoming an entrepreneur, I would expect to see the Nine of Pentacles, which I see as the quintessence of a businesswoman (or businesshuman for you non-women) standing on her own two feet, or the Magician, someone who can make things happen, or the Fool (believe me, starting your own business will look like folly to at least some of the people in your life!). You might also see Kings or Queens here, or even Knights. If you see a King or a Queen, and are thinking of starting a business, I tend to think that either you are being called on to step into a position of leadership, as CEO of your own company, or, in certain cases, you might be receiving advice about potential investors. Knights, I see as indicators of someone who would do well focusing singlemindedly on a particular type of task–a sole proprietor in a service field, or a freelancer.
The Turn Your Car Into a Side Gig Option
If you are considering driving for Lyft or Uber, or Doordash, or some other similar app-based ride or delivery service, I would see the Chariot as a green light (pun intended). But remember that even if your plan is as simple as becoming a driver, you still have to do the work:
- Download the app.
- Fill out the application.
- Make sure your car is in good roadworthy condition.
- Make sure your car is clean and sparkly.
- Make sure your car is insured and titled and that you have documents to prove that.
- Upload said documents to your application.
- Go through the interview and approval process.
I know I’m hammering a theme that might seem very obvious to some, but you have to do all the steps to make the thing happen. Otherwise it doesn’t count as “I pursued that opportunity but nothing came of it.”
Let’s consider one last card that you might encounter in your job hunt-related divinations: the Wheel of Fortune. The Wheel is a giant clock. Upright, it’s time to do the thing. Reversed, you’re not ready to do the thing, probably because you haven’t done the work yet, so: Go. Do. The. Work.
To me, this card is not about good luck. Fuck luck. Make your own luck. Set your own forces in motion and let them pick up momentum until your desired course of action has become inevitable.
Because when you do the work, you’re not just acting in the physical world. You’re visualizing your desired course of action. You’re taking seriously issues or potential obstacles that you wouldn’t be taking seriously if you were just building castles in the air. You’re strengthening your intention. You’re gathering your allies. You’re setting up a communication network. You are, hopefully, creating a perfect storm of energy around the thing that you are trying to manifest: your job change.
*The card shown at the top of this page is the Ace of Pentacles, from Lo Scarabeo’s Samurai Tarot.