Choosing Careers Using BaZi and Chinese Metaphysics – Does It Work?


Posted On Last updated Oct 11, 2020 | Published on Dec 11, 2018

Too Long, Didn’t Read Summary:

  • Career success ultimately depends on the overall quality of your chart – not because a practitioner chose a role for you in your ‘lucky’ industry.
  • Choosing roles and industries using beneficial elements is a modern-day rendition of metaphysics which isn’t very useful.
  • It’s more important to have an interest or passion in something rather than obsessing about the elements.
  • Life will naturally push you in the right direction when you have a good chart.
  • An example of someone with a bad chart who doesn’t ‘get it’ is at the end of the post.

Choosing your career with the help of metaphysics is one those ‘must-dos’ whenever someone gets a consultation. It’s not a topic I’ve addressed in my blog yet but it’s about time I do so. I lost count of the number of times someone asked me “What career is suitable for me?” or “What are my strengths?”

People’s misunderstanding of this field, along with ‘practitioners’ trying to generate content for the sake of it, has led the public to form a rather skewed impression on what metaphysics can or cannot do. Or rather, we are not using Chinese metaphysics to its full potential, because the approach in modern times is always “Give me a solution that can solve my problems right now!”

Whatever I say in this post is nothing new per se, and it still boils down to what I’ve always been trying to bring across – which is that your chart is but a reflection of nature’s laws, and it charts your growth as a person. You will always hear me come back to this topic and why it’s important.

I know a lot of comparisons is done between people with good charts and bad charts and it’s an uncomfortable topic. Trust me, it makes me uncomfortable too, but it’s still the best way to put things into perspective for the layman and to address misconceptions. I’d always say it’s important to be cognizant, no matter ho harsh, of the dichotomy that exists. If you find it hard to accept this, then go and stare at the Yin Yang symbol.

Now, let’s talk about what role metaphysics can play in our careers. I hope this post addresses most people’s questions on how metaphysics can be used for such matters.

Career success is perhaps one of the easiest things to see in one’s BaZi.

Career Success Ultimately Depends On The Quality Of Your BaZi Chart

This is perhaps the most obvious truth and it ties in with my post on the Bad BaZi Chart vs Good BaZi chart debate.

Our career achievements and how smooth our careers are, at the end of the day, really depends on the quality of our chart. You cannot ‘game’ the chart and expect that your life will turn around just because you chose a career that is supposedly based on your favourable elements. It’s an overly simplistic and linear way of looking at metaphysics and not the application of the theory in my opinion. You can change jobs all you want, but if you do not change yourself, don’t expect any success to come.

Some people would feel that life is unfair because life gave them a challenging chart, which is why their careers aren’t going well. I’m sure most of us can relate to this feeling and we felt like that at some point in our lives. However, I’m sure my regular readers knowing my philosophy on metaphysics and there comes a point where we need to stop blaming it on life and take some personal responsibility. Continuing to lament on your chart isn’t going to change anything.

Stop thinking that metaphysics is about generating “luck”. This word should have no place in Chinese metaphysics and it’s not the appropriate translation of the word 运 which we see all so often in this field. Good things don’t happen to good people arbitrarily or out of pure randomness and I can’t emphasise this enough.

Career Success Is Ultimately Still About Mindset

Perhaps to try to help put things into perspective: As mentioned, metaphysics is a study of nature’s laws after all, and you are a product of nature. Like every other natural phenomenon, the growth of something depends on the environment and innate quality of the subject. When a practitioner looks at your BaZi chart, your natal chart and “Luck Pillars” / Elemental Phases are telling us you innate qualities or lack thereof, and what you are doing with it. Your natal chart is your innate nature, and your Elemental Phases is like your environment – these two will come together and chart your growth as a human being. I have emphasises this countless times.

People might ask, “But what if we don’t have control of our environment? We can’t choose where we end up and it’s affecting me!” I’d ask you to challenge that assumption. First of all, you do have control of your environment and you are not an inanimate object, but from my conversations with friends and clients, most of us don’t do anything about it. Life simply becomes chasing one paycheque after another in hopes of a bigger one coming. There is nothing inherently wrong with this, and if you enjoy it, but all means go ahead.

But if you are unhappy with your career or work environment, and you are not doing about it, then you can’t blame anyone else but yourslf.

If You Want A Good Environment, Then Be Worthy Of It

A lot of my clients with the lower quality BaZi charts always hit back with the excuse that they are unable to get into a good company and a good environment, and they blame that for their unfulfilling career. They don’t understand that they don’t have what it takes to be in such companies, and fail to understand there are literally thousands of people out there who are better than them at the job.

The excuse is always “I need a good environment first because anything can change” and this whole chicken-and-egg debate arrives again which is a completely pointless exercise. A good company will remain good, with or without you. It’s for you to make sure you are at the company’s level, and not for the company to stoop to a lower level. In Chinese metaphysics, we always talk about Yin Yang balance and harmony is achieved through balance. One’s relationship with the company is like a Yin Yang balance, and if one’s goes awry, the whole relationship just collapses.

Yin and Yang is not always who is better and who is not. Sometimes, it is. But Yin and Yang is ultimately the balance between two phenomena that share a relationship with each other. This applies to all phenomena. If you wish to tap into Chinese metaphysics, you better believe in this law. Even if you don’t believe in it, it still exists whether you like it or not.

Your Career Life Is A Reflection Of Natural Phenomena

Chinese metaphysics is a study of nature’s laws, and you can be sure your life is a reflection of this too. Let me give you an example.

I’ve mentioned this in one of my earlier blog posts that if you were to observe an environment where a particular species is thriving (it can be plants or animals), you will notice that there is hardly any weak plants or animals around. A lush landscape of flowers will only allow the stronger plants to survive, and the weak ones end up becoming fertilizer. You won’t see a weak plant around for long. If we were talking about animal packs, the weak ones would have already perish and some species even sacrifice these weaker ones for the sake of the pack.

It is not different in real life. If either is the stronger plant or stronger organism, or you end up the fertilizer. It’s just like what we see in nature. I’m not saying all this to demean people who are having challenges or going through harsh times, just that it is my job as a practitioner to convey to you what the laws of Chinese metaphysics mean. It is a very cruel way of describing reality but it is the way it is whether you like it or not.

Many of us find ourselves at the mercy of our environment because of competition, and some of us are fighting for survival in the midst of all these competition, fearing that we might ‘perish’. It is the innately strong and healthy ones who will continue to thrive.

How Do I Use BaZi To Help My Career?

Firstly, don’t ever let BaZi be the focus. Focus on yourself.

If you are not meant for this field, the likelihood of you giving yourself the wrong information is very high. It’s not that you can’t use BaZi to choose career options – you can. It’s important to pick something we like to do, but what everyone needs to also understand is that what you like to do is somethimes not needed by the world anymore, or you just aren’t doing it well enough.

Life is really not that simple where you can simply choose a career using BaZi and expect things to be happily ever after. Sure, you might like the job more, but there are still so many other factors at play if success is what you’re after.

It’s important to be able to figure out what you wish to do with your life and career, and I have to be honest and say that the people with the good BaZi charts will have this figured out on their own and in a very early stage in their lives. Not only that, they also make the conscious decision to be extremely good at what they do.

Using BaZi to choose your career is so much more than just giving you a laundry list of options to choose from. That is perhaps the most ridiculous exercise for modern day Chinese metaphysics. It’s not that it is wrong per se, but it is not executed in the best manner. Why?

The Ridiculous Practice Of Coming Up With A Laundry List Of Career Options Based On Elements

A lot of my clients have shared the reports of other practitioners with me and I often see a ridiculous laundry list of career options written in there. I can’t help but to be a bit peeved, because it’s not helpful for the client at all.

I have a few problems with this practice:

  • The practitioner really isn’t offering anything of value. Instead of clearing the misconception or guiding the client in the right way of seeing things by analyzing the chart accurately and objectively, the client is presented with a useless list of career options.
  • You’ll also often see that some of these suggestions conflict with each other. For example, some people might say that the tech industry is a Metal industry, whereas some say it’s Fire. So which is it? And does it really matter?
  • Basically, the root cause is not being addressed, which is the quality of the chart overall.

I realised a lot of the reports and consultations out there really feels more like a superficial lip-service session for the client instead of telling them what’s going on. What’s the point of this really?

If you remember reading my blog post on what makes people wealthy, I listed the charts of a few of my really successful friends. If we were to apply the popular theory of choosing your industry by the elements, my friends would be considered in the wrong industry, but yet, they are extremely successful. So what’s going on here? There’s no doubt that they are undergoing positive phases, and they are also leveraging on their strengths – but the industry they are in really doesn’t matter. Life pushed them towards opening a F&B business, and they committed to the path and are doing extremely well now. I’ve met countless successful people who are in industries that are not associated with what popular theory is suggesting. How do you explain that then?

The bottom line is: The theory of using the elements to choose your suitable industry really isn’t very helpful in my opinion.

Two People Can Have The Exact Same Chart But End Up Doing Extremely Different Things

Let’s use a real-life example that I’ve personally come across.

The usual things you’ll hear about Yin Wood Daymasters is that they are suited for educational field or whatever. If you take a look at my case study on Yin Wood Daymasters, I’ve met two different Yin Wood chart holders before. One of them is a recruiter, but I don’t see him being in education because he has serious character flaws, and the other person is a fighter-pilot.

What you ultimately end up doing has a lot to do with your life’s story so far and where it has been pushing you.

You would have never associated Yin Wood with the military especially if your source of reference has always been the watered-down seminars out there.

If you don’t mind me using myself as an example: My chart says that I am suitable to be a practitioner, but if someone else had the exact same chart as myself, would he be a BaZi consultant too in this case? Unlikely. He might end up being in the military, or as a business person – both of which are suitable for a chart like mine.

At the end of the day, the Chinese metaphysics is a study of xiang (象). Translated loosely, it is the form or the essence of something – it’s real physical manifestations can be very different. This is the reason why a Heavenly Stem or an Earthly Branch can represent so many different things. Again, where we eventually end up still very much depends on our life story and where life pushes us and this is something that is beyond metaphysics. Yes, the charts can give us hints on what some of our strengths and natural inclinations are, and we can make a career decision based on that information, but please remember there is more to that.

It’s Not Just About The Daymaster & Element You Need

Choosing a suitable career is not simply just picking one in an industry that represents your beneficial element, and neither is it done by simply looking at your Daymaster alone.

In the unfortunate cases of people with really bad BaZi charts, they simply move from one job to another without having developed any skill or knowledge that makes them relevant in the working world, so the kind of jobs available to them will be limited.

Another way of looking at this is to understand that the job you are meant to do is fated. If you have a good chart, you will naturally be pushed to somewhere where you’ll thrive, whereas the people with the weaker charts will spend half their lives still figuring it out.

In my opinion, if you fall into the trap of thinking just using your Daymaster or beneficial elements can help you get career success, I’m sorry to disappoint you. Life is really not that simple and you also do not use Chinese metaphysics is such a superficial manner.

I’d also just like to remind everyone that just because you choose a career that supposedly works towards your strengths, it doesn’t mean success is guaranteed. To put things into perspective, just because you are naturally stronger in something – it doesn’t mean you are stronger than others. You are competing with thousands of others who can do whatever you are doing, and they might do it better than you.

This “strength” that people like practitioners to identify has no benchmark and it’s only on the own chart-holder’s terms, but if you bring everyone else eyeing for that same pie into the picture, your “strength” may suddenly seem very insignificant and you are actually the weak one. This is another example of what Yin Yang represents, and what it means to say that there is a Yin Yang within a Yin Yang. There is a small universe within a big universe. The big universe here is the industry; the small universe here is your competition.

You can have the same Daymaster and/or beneficial element as someone else and you two can be in the same industry and even company, but will you two have the same level of success and failures? Unlikely.

So What Should I Do Then? How Should I Use BaZi To Help My Career?

It falls back to the same thing I’ve always said. You absolutely must adopt a growth mindset and continue growing. Your environment will not hesitate to leave you behind if you choose to be the one that is stagnant and declining. This is the one single thing which separates people with good BaZi or Zi Wei Dou Shu charts from the bad ones. Our charts are not a description of “luck” or random arbitrary events – our charts represent our growth just like everything else you see in nature.

Now, I’m not saying all of us must turn into overly competitive, self-centred people (which some unwise people eventually become). The best environments is where the species thrives together in a safe ecosystem. What I’m basically saying is, at the end of the day, if you want your career to go well, it’s entirely up to you and your resourcefulness and capabilities.

To be fair, there will be times where the environment gets so toxic that it gets to us, but please do remember we are humans, and we have free will. We can still ultimately choose the environment we want to end up in, but of course, you must have what it takes to get there and then continue to survive in a better environment. If not, you’ll end up like that weak plant or organism that eventually loses to competition and perishes. Everyone wants that better paying job at a better company, but many fail to ask themselves if they are even ready for bigger roles which require a lot more from them.

There are times where a client with an extremely good natal chart comes to me asking for some career advice, and the chart clearly states that the client is in a bad phase and the problems have triggered. I’m not worried about cases like these because I know that they will be able to find someone better with ease and they will continue to thrive. The rough patch they go through will pass just like how seasons pass. It helps to have a strong natal chart, because it’s your core as a person after all and your natal chart does determine how well you can cope with the tougher phases.

If your natal chart is a challenging one, you’d be at the mercy of your Elemental Phases. Expect your mettle to be tested when you hit a negative phase, but what’s important here is one’s reaction to it. You’ll see a lot of differences in the way a Category 1 person handles his or her life as opposed to a Category 4 person.

There Is No Point Looking At Roles Or Industries When The Foundation Is Weak

I think people know by now that I absolutely detest toxic mindsets and I do have run-ins with clients at times when they don’t seem to ‘get it’. There is really no point at getting a practitioner to propose a list of roles and industries you can consider when the foundation isn’t there, and when I say foundation, it really refers to the intangibles like your character, intelligence, whether you can work well with people etc – basically things that makes someone successful.

As mentioned in the above section, at the end of the day, it’s still the overall chart quality that matters. There’s really no point going into specific industries and what not if the chart has problems.

The people who usually have a major screw up in their lives are the ones who buy the idea that success is guaranteed as long as you are in the field with the right element. Take a very simple example: Let’s say someone’s chart says that he or she has an affinity with finance or a Metal industry, should this person go start a bank then? Or if someone has an affinity with the F&B or media industry, should this person go start a restaurant or a media company? I’m sure we all know that the failure rate of new businesses is extremely high, and having your own business doesn’t always mean a better quality of life.

What I am trying to say here is that, before you think about what industries are associate with what elements, spend this effort asking better, more constructive questions like:

  • What is it that I am interested in and passionate about?
  • Am I committed to being the best at what I do?
  • Do I have the patience, commitment to acquire the knowledge and skills to do well.
  • Am I ready to be patient, and understand that success will take time?

Because if there’s anything I realised from my time giving consultations and observing people, it’s that the people with the best charts are constantly asking themselves constructive questions like these. People with good charts are naturally able to develop themselves to a point where they naturally know where their strengths are – they don’t need someone to tell them such things because they are very self-actualised people.

I mentioned this is one of my really old posts: If you’ve gone through the Chinese classics on BaZi, you’ll often see examples of how your Daymaster needs to be ‘forged’ in order for it’s value to manifest. In order for it to be ‘forged’, it must be strong enough to withstand the process. The value of Metal is brought out by what ‘harms’ it, which is Fire. Likewise, the value of Wood is brought out by Metal. “Harm” is not the best word to use here. We use the word 克 (ke4) in Chinese when two elements clash, but 克 isn’t always a bad thing and it can be very positive in fact.

If this were to translate into real life, it simply means that the people with the challenging charts and lives are those who either stop, or don’t know how to grow. Trials and challenges make them weaker, not wiser.

If You Have A Good Chart, Things Will Fall Into Place Naturally For You

Perhaps it’s a bit harder for everyone to appreciate, but when one’s has a good chart, things really just fall into place for them – and for good reason. It really doesn’t matter which industry or role is tied to which element.

I’ve argued time and again, it’s not about “luck” because this word suggests not having to do anything and good things will happen. The people with the good charts have successful, happy lives not because they are “lucky”, but because they embody what makes one successful. These are the people who have a very clear idea of what they wish to do with their lives and what they wish to achieve, and they have a focus and something they enjoy doing. Career success is only natural.

I’m sure most would agree that, if someone is in their 30s or 40s, and has yet to figure out what their interests, passions or strengths are, then it’s really not about which industries are associated whatever elements anymore.

There is really a lot more to assessing someone’s overall success other than just looking at what elements are associated with which industries. To be honest, I’m not even sure if this theory stands because it’s not how I personally view metaphysics.

Now, for a bit of harsh reality.

No One Can Help You If You Don’t ‘Get It’ 

You will never, ever be able to benefit from Chinese metaphysics if you are out of touch with reality. Chinese metaphysics is the study of reality. It is called “Chinese cosmology” for a reason. So how can one benefit from it when being so oblivious?

I know it sounds harsh and perhaps politically incorrect, but if someone were to not ‘get it’, there’s really not much anyone can do for this person. I’m sure we all have that one self-destructive friend whom we feel we can’t get to no matter how we explain things and their lives just gradually spirals out of control. It takes a traumatic event for them to get a chance of shifting their perspective, hopefully, for the better.

I’ve said this countless times: I don’t want anyone to see practitioners as people who can turn people’s lives around. At the end of the day, the change still comes from the chart-holder. Practitioners are normal human beings who just happen to have a special set of knowledge that helps with putting things into perspective, and perspective, sometimes, is everything.

I recently had a case which pretty much infuriated me and it’s been a while since I’ve encountered a toxic client. Everyone knows that when you fill-up the application form for a consultation, you’ll receive a really long email telling you how to prepare for a consultation. Not only did this client not bother to read the email out of pure laziness, when I told this client to go through my blog when he has time, this client obviously just skimmed through it for the sake of it without any introspection whatsoever. I was just told to give a solution.

Let me give you a very good example of why I said people with bad BaZi charts fail because of who they are. It’s really not about whether they are in the right role or industry. I personally find it unacceptable that someone 7 years older than me can still operate this way:

A bit of context: This client went to another ‘practitioner’ who very confidently declared that he is suitable for business, and he eventually started one which didn’t go down too well. The analysis he was given was completely wrong, and like how people make bad decisions listening to annual zodiac forecasts which are complete utter nonsense, this client made the wrong decision and his life and career was thrown way off course.

This client also bought one of the items that were supposed to bring good luck but I guess the ‘practitioner’ who sold it forgot to charge it with his spiritual energy but did so for the friend (sarcasm intended).

This also happens to be one of the perfect examples of why I’m against zodiac forecasts, because people really do end up making the wrong decisions due to what practitioners say, and the nature of our ‘job’ makes it such people are extremely receptive to what we say.

Again, it’s not about your “luck”. The word “luck” should never be associate with metaphysics. It’s not that this client was unlucky – he thought too highly of himself and went into business thinking it would make him rich and make his life comfortable. He failed to ask himself exactly what he has to offer and what problem he’s trying to solve. What he did was not being enterprising – it’s being an escapist while lacking common sense. 

I apologise that I include screenshots of my conversations on my blog sometimes. I know some readers are uncomfortable with it and am surprised that I do it, but I’ll always make it a point to cover up the names, even those of practitioners I don’t agree with. It should be rather clear who I don’t agree with by now – I really don’t have to name them.

When I say your natal chart and the phases is go through is really about your mindset, this is the perfect example of it. The kind of questions you ask yourself or others say a lot about your character. I ever had one client who asked me “Do I need to work hard to be rich?” and doesn’t seem to understand that everyone needs to work hard to wealthy. The above is a case of a Category 4 chart, but I took up the case because technically, there’s suppose to be an upturn although it’s going to take a while before this client starts to truly grow as a person despite almost being 40.

Just to be clear (again), especially for the new readers: I don’t put up a different front when I conduct my consultations. How I am during consultations is how I am in real life and how I am with my friends, although if anyone were to have toxic mindsets, they wouldn’t be my friend in the first place. I am very harsh on my friends when they come to me for advice and it is no different from how I speak to clients. I know I’m a service provider but my job here is not to give clients a Singapore Airlines Suites Class flight experience. If the client is nice, I will go out of my way to make sure this client gets the most out of the consultation. If the client is toxic, expect the tone to change. If you are a toxic person who doesn’t know how to think for yourself, it’s best you not come to me because you would be wasting both of our time.

I’m someone who speaks my mind, so if the tonality of my texts in the screenshots above surprises you, well, welcome to my blog. Would you rather tell people the right thing in hopes that they can really change for the better? Or tell them that they must get a Citibank credit card because their lucky colour is blue?

Stop thinking that items and charms can magically change your life – only people with the lowest quality charts will think this way. 

Before I end off: I’ve been getting a lot of questions on whether someone’s chart is their karma. In a way, it is. It’s the chart we are born with after all. But for someone like myself to just dismiss all these discussions and misconceptions by declaring metaphysics as “it’s your karma” isn’t exactly the best way to deal with things or address people’s concerns.

Yes, we all have our karma and we are meant to go through certain things. The reason why I write about these topics is so that people can understand what is it that can make the quality of our lives so different. What is it that we are ‘not getting’ or what is it gives someone such an enviable life but we don’t? What is that can make some people thrive despite all the difficulties whereas some people just crumble.

When our ancestors developed the field of metaphysics, they didn’t go into it with the mindset of “Hey man it’s your karma, too bad! Life sucks too bad!” to put it in an oddly crude way. You’ll definitely see the Chinese classics talk about karma (因果) and how metaphysics is a manifestation of it. Our ancestors sought to understand these laws so that people’s lives can improve. It’s important to accept the charts we have, because acceptance has to come first before real, lasting change can.

But using jadeite rings and crystal statues and claiming you can work less for more? Oh god… Don’t get me started.

– Sean

Wish to get a consultation but have a question? Get in touch:

Written by Sean Chan

Sean Chan is Asia's leading Chinese metaphysics consultant specializing in BaZi, Zi Wei Dou Shu, Qi Men Dun Jia, and Feng Shui. A thought leader in the field, Sean's been featured on Channel NewsAsia, Rice Media, 联合早报, The New York Times Style Magazine and other local media. He blogs regularly about various topics surrounding Chinese metaphysics and aims to educate the public about the field.

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  1. say hien

    ? this post does clear my misconceptions.

  2. Aaron

    Hi Master Chan,

    I’m an avid reader of your blog and because of my interest in psychology and positive psychology, your blog really makes a lot of sense to me. I’m suspecting that my chart says that I’m hungry learner and I try to learn by reading as much as possible which is why I haven’t paid for a consultation with you. (Pun intended) Hopefully I will engage you soon.

    I agree and subscribe to your philosophy of life. I think it is possible for someone of a lower level chart to overcome adversity (Story of Liao Fan) through quality education ( self awareness & optimism), grit and perseverance. My question to you is, are such cases common? If they are, does that mean their charts are not that low after all because life pushes them to good materials to develop good qualities and they have the mindset to do it?

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

    Best regards,

    • Sean Chan

      Hi Aaron!

      I’m glad to hear that you enjoy reading my blog!

      I have to be honest and say that I hardly ever come across cases where the chart-holder seems to have transcended their charts, especially if the chart is one where both the natal chart and Elemental Phases are challenging. If the natal chart quality is higher, or perhaps at one point the Elemental Phases are on their side, you’ll definitely see some growth and development of that person, but other wise, it’s not as easy as people think it is.

  3. John Goh

    Dear Master Sean Chan,

    Thanks for sharing your wisdom!

    Have read all your blog articles. It has helped me gained a new perspective of metaphysics and certainly a much rational one.

    Keep up the good work!

    One question here:
    Theoretically, does perfect bazi chart exists in this world?
    If so, what kind of people are they?
    To put things into context, does Siddhartha Gautama a.k.a The Buddha holds the perfect bazi chart since he has developed as a human to the fullest potential by achieving enlightment.


    • Sean Chan

      Nah! The perfect BaZi doesn’t exist. Even Buddha’s life wasn’t perfect! I mean there would be really enviable charts of course, but “perfect” is not possible.

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