Monday, 18 June 2012

Field Report: Prayer for Financial Prosperity

Unfortunately I've lost my notes on the exact sequence of events that took place during this working. However, having written it up and slept on it, this is what I remember took place.

Awhile back I was stuck in a job that was going nowhere fast. People were leaving either voluntarily or non-voluntarily and I got talked in to staying longer than I should have. When the thought “cheque please!” crosses your mind, it's worth taking a few moments to consider whether that though should be seriously considered or not.

Anyway, the opportunity came for me to leave voluntarily and I took it. Things worked out in such a way that my departure was going to take 3 months. At first this was not too bad but when a new job opportunity came up and after two interviews in quick succession I got a job offer - things got complicated.

My old place would not let me go and the new place wanted me to start right away. At first I said a couple of Psalms as prayers for aid and had a chat with my old boss. To say that it was a disastrous conversation would be an understatement. He was very unreceptive, told me that I was blackmailing him and I found it all rather confusing given that he was about to be made compulsory redundant.

Anyway, since the Psalms route had not worked so well I decided to say a prayer for financial prosperity that is similar to the one that can be found in some Hebrew prayer books. Having done this a couple of times, come up with a plan that I could present on how my leaving was not going to destroy the department – the response from my old boss was a lot more sympathetic.

However, that was when things started getting even more complicated. My old boss had included a number of other managers in the decision making process and it went from a “OK, you can leave early and still get a pay-out if you finish project X” to three weeks of email exchanges, calls and bugging people on a daily basis.

The interesting thing to me was that I became aware of how my day to day actions affected the success of the working. My religious practice puts certain limitations on what I am supposed to do and not do. Some of these things I struggle with from time to time. Every time I went off the path, so to speak, things started going badly in terms of trying to leave early without lawyers getting involved. Every time I made an effort to return (teshuvah) things started to go well.

It reminded me of the story of Moses who has to hold his hands up so that the Israelites are victorious in their battle against the Amalekites. Every time his arms dipped the Israelites would shift towards losing and when he raised them again they started winning. In some tiny way, my situation was playing out in a similar fashion.

Anyway, the outcome of all of this was that the prayer for financial prosperity from “Walking in the Fire” had a positive effect. I was able to leave my old job early in order to start the new job and went on to have further successes in my career to date. Sometimes it takes a little time to get sufficient perspective to understand what went on, what the patterns of behaviour were that worked and did not work.

In project management, that type of reflection is called Lessons Learned. It was a painful but valuable lessons. The actions that I've taken away are to further study the law and customs of my religion to get a better understanding of the interplay between how those laws in practice affect the individual and the community.