According to the Buddhist tradition, karma is the total effect of a person’s actions during successive phases of existence. It assumes that your conduct in this lifetime will influence events and relationships in future lifetimes.


Whether you believe in reincarnation, practicing good karma at work can only help you, for most people see the consequences of their behavior play out in this life. How do you do it? The main strategy is to consciously manage your work relationships, which are similar to family relationships in that while we don’t necessarily choose them, we have to make them work as best we can.


I’ve recently had the opportunity to work with the brilliant Stephen Covey. In “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” Dr. Covey introduces the concept of the emotional bank account. When the reserve of trust in an account is high because we’ve continually demonstrated goodwill, communication is instant, easy and effective. On the other hand, if we continually show another person disrespect, the trust account diminishes and the slightest provocation can turn into a relationship incident.


You can keep your work relationships productive and your work karma positive by making routine deposits to your emotional bank accounts.


While not all colleagues will be equally receptive to your overtures (perhaps they have their own karmic issues to work out), 90 percent of the time your efforts will be duly noted and appreciated, and you will be rewarded with greater success.

– Alexandra Levit is the author of “New Job, New You: A Guide to Reinventing Yourself in a Bright New Career.” Visit for free career change guidance and resources.

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