Is shadow influencing our workchoice? I think people unconsciously choose for growth by choosing a certain job & company.


The positive aspects of shadow, admiration do attract someone to a job ...but I also think the negative aspects somehow do challenge someone. Most of them don't know this.

Ofcourse in a job you are utilising your talents ...and in shadow your gold is hidden to perform your job even better.


What do you think?

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  • Hi all,


    I wrote more on this subject in my blog

    Shadow attracts us to a job and an organisation
    Shadow makes us attracted to a certain job and organisation. We utilise our talents in a job and also a piece of our shadow. Shadow is what you don't…
  • Thks to all your reactions I collected some courage to place a blog on this subject. Thanks!!! I love to share my ideas about shadow and work.



    • Love the picture!!!
  • Certainly, any suggestion that we choose a job by either conscious methods or unconscious shadow influence strays from your original focus on how shadow influences our workchoice. This leads me to the concept of individuation which is never fully experienced. is not either/or or an equal both/and but a matter of degrees of consciousness and unconscious shadow. We also have neglected to bring in other unconscious influences mentioned by Jung such as the anima/animus, archetypal forces , and complexes other than the shadow that also have some psychic energy invested in the moment of choosing a workplace.

    And how about a nod to Freud's superego and more the currently articulated cultural complexes as well.

  • I can't imagine that work relationships aren't as affected by shadow material as any other relationships.

    I (blindly) duplicated my relationship with my mother by working for a series of implacable, crazy women for nearly two decades. They were usually the publisher and I was the editor, but always second in command, just as I was as the oldest kid. I even moved across country to follow one of them, never stopping to think about my predictable misery. Incredibly, when one was fired and I was given her job, I managed to turn a blind eye to what was happening in my office and I was completely sabotaged by my assistant, another such type.

    Of course, in any relationship -- working or otherwise -- it takes two to preserve the dynamic, even bring it forward. Realizing my own part in this was the first step toward resolving it. It wasn't until I did a 3-week residential intensive (involving a lot of Jungian and transpersonal modalities) that I realized these crazy work relationships were -- just as marriages often are -- an attempt to integrate the repressed material of my childhood experience.

    And, yes, this involved a lot of self-sabotage. I won all kinds of writing awards throughout my teens, for example, and received a 3-book contract when I was in my late 20s. I became completely blocked and was unable to write more than enough to eek out a living for 10 years. That too was about my mother's hyper-critical attacks on me and her insistence that I never disclose anything about our family. That's not good for a memoir-esque project.

    As a side note, I might mention a comedic moment years ago. At the very worst of this pattern, one of my assistant editors proposed writing a story about "codependency" in the workplace -- and set about describing the identical pattern in which I was floundering. An ah-ha moment from an entirely unexpected, outside source, consistent with Jung's observation.

    • Thank you for your reaction.


      Shadow is not only active in relations ...I mean shadow is working in the atrraction of a job of an organisation (so more than relationships).


      For instance you long for freedom, that's why you work for an airline company. You are stubborn ...and need the resistance& discipline which is under the shadow of stubborness.

      So you might be attracted to a job in which you need discipline.

      You might be impulsive and your work requests that you take realistic, rational decisions.

      That's also what I mean, shadow is active at work!

      • An attempt at humor for Cliff and others (like myself) who have spent time and energy chasing our shadows:

        We can also call it chasing our INFERIOR function (relationships). Problem that we all know: to choose a job/relationship based on shadow or inferior function keeps us from individuating and finding that wholeness that we all crave (at least according to Jung).

        I suddenly remember the axiom that if things are going badly at work, homelife needs to be good, and vice-versa, with emphasis on the psychic vice that this encourages.

        • To choose a job based on shadow keeps us from individuating, you say.

          I think we can't do otherwise, that we unconsciously choose work to grow, to individuate. And shadow let us attract to certain functions and organisations. If there is too much shadow, it won't work and for instance burnout is a consequence.

          Of course we think we are attracted by a job by our talents, but my statement is ...shadow influences us as much!


          Not everything we are good in, is a talent. And that can cause problems. it doesn't give the energy we expect.


          Jung say we are looking for growth, conscious or not ...If getting ill, has a purpose to get us better.

  • Interesting thoughts here.  I appreciated the Earth Pages link, Bonnie.  I have no doubt at all that shadow pulls us into all manner of interactions with other.  Careers?  Yes, at least for me.  I am a quiet, introvert, yet my career as a teacher and school administrator pulled me out to play with the world in a way that I was compelled to see other dimensions of "self."  My career as a counsellor/therapist forced me to constantly question everything about myself as I worked with others - the whole issue of projections, transference, and counter-transference constantly asking me to listen to the reverberations within as well as the watching and listening to the soul that had found my office.  


    And now, as I teach again in my retirement as a way to stay connected to the outer world while doing the work of writing and photography, my newest career path, it continues to be at the prodding of shadow that I become a bit more aware of the mystery of my own hidden depths.

  • good question.


    I think I have left jobs in the past in which I was actually rejecting some shadow elements with in myself. I've allways thought about the shadow in how we are drawn into or repelled in romantic relationships but your question has opened up the idea to the workplace. It's very interesting and I will be thinking morea about it..



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