In today’s business community, many experts are believing that with all things being equal, those who spread good "karma" are more likely to succeed in the long run.
But what exactly is karma? According to Sara Arnell, "The idea of karma — good or bad — is part of the belief system of millions of people around the world. In the simplest terms, karma results from a person’s actions." As the CEO and founder of Karmic, a mobile app and platform for "everyday acts of kindness and compassion", Arnell advises professionals to regard karma as a "business partner." While it may seem more like Buddhism than business, many professionals believe performing an act of goodness will bring good karma, while behaving badly will boomerang at some time in the future.
Good happens. Bad happens... What is causing the good or the bad? Philosophy, history and contemporary evidence suggest that we are, not the external world. Karma is the idea that however we have acted to date plays out in our current world. True in business.
Could your career karma use a positive boost? Here are a few suggestions to infuse your work life with some positive karmic energy.
1. Help out a colleague who’s overwhelmed.
Have a coworker who’s struggling to get things done? Give him a hand. He just may return the favor next time you’re facing down a towering stack of paperwork.
2. Welcome office newbies.
Remember what it was like when you started a new job? Help the intern find the coffee pot. Invite the new sales associate to join you and your coworkers for lunch. Or offer to mentor an entry-level staffer who’s learning the ropes. You never know when your paths may cross again.
3. Compliment a colleague on a job well done.
Don’t be afraid someone else’s success will take away from your own. Be gracious when a colleague excels — even if she lands the promotion you were hoping to get. What goes around comes around. Coworkers appreciate those who can set their accomplishments aside to recognize another’s.
4. Be a team player.
Tempted to go rogue instead rather than working alongside your colleagues? Resist the urge to do your own thing at the expense of the department. Leave your ego at the door. Collaboration is an underappreciated skill — but essential to long-term career success.
5. Go above and beyond.
Take inspiration from the Wounded Peacock yoga pose: Don’t be afraid to take on big, scary challenges every once in a while. You may not always succeed, but you’ll demonstrate courage. People admire that.
6. Be a problem-solver.
Unhappy with something at work? Rather than gossip or complain, find your Zen — then come up with a solution. Whether you’re looking for the meaning of life or a way to improve your company’s vacation policy, a little critical thinking can have a big impact on how others see you.
7. Find time to volunteer.
Think you’re too busy to sit on a board or chair a charity event? Re-evaluate your schedule. Sharing an hour or two a month to help others can make a difference — not to mention a few connections.
8. Be a cheerleader for others.
Career columnists, J.T. O’Donnell and Dale Dauten recommend "jobbing it forward": Go to bat for a talented friend or colleague who is trying to find employment by providing an unsolicited recommendation or initiating a connection.
9. Burn no bridges.
Unhappy at work? Frustrated with your boss? As much as you’d like to walk out the door, resist the urge to quit without giving notice. You never know when you might need a reference or find yourself face to face with a former employer.
Still not sure about karma? No matter, says career expert, Ursula Williams. "… It’s just good to do something nice for other people once in a while." Although virtue may be its own reward, spreading a little positive energy around the workplace can’t hurt. Don’t be surprised if good karma comes knocking on your office door.