What is the Baha’i perspective on careers?

“O My Servants! Ye are the trees of My garden; ye must give forth goodly and wondrous fruits…” ~ Baha’u’llah

Baha’is believe that everyone should work. As Baha’u’llah writes, “O My Servants! Ye are the trees of My garden; ye must give forth goodly and wondrous fruits, that ye yourselves and others may profit therefrom. Thus it is incumbent on every one to engage in crafts and professions, for therein lies the secret of wealth, O men of understanding! For results depend upon means, and the grace of God shall be all-sufficient unto you. Trees that yield no fruit have been and will ever be for the fire.” (HW). It does not matter if they are a street sweeper or nuclear engineer, a stay-at-home mom, caring for the aged, a doctor or a teacher, a lawyer or a scientist, Baha’is have to work in the world in some profession and earn a living in this world for ourselves, our families, and for the community (prioritized in that order).

Baha’is are exhorted to perform their work with a spirit of service to mankind in their hearts, not just to earn a paycheck. This spirit of service means they strive to see the bigger picture of their daily jobs in how they contribute to society and that becomes their motivation. Through this, they offer each day’s work to their Lord as a form of worship.

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