The Blessed One said, "Now what, monks, is the Noble Eightfold Path? Right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration.
SN 45.8 Magga-vibhanga Sutta
What is right livelihood?
We can start to understand by knowing what it is not: it does not harm others, does not deceive others and is not dishonest.
That is the ground, do no harm. Having the intention to do no harm unto others through your work, the question then becomes, how can you contribute to others and your community? What talents and gifts do you have to share? What problems can you solve that bring benefit to others or the world around you?
These questions address a critical component of right livelihood: you can contribute meaningfully to the world around you.
We are all looking for meaning in our work and in our lives. Often, in our jobs we search out results, status roles, accomplishments and money as symbols that we are doing good work. We focus on the earned value of our efforts rather than our actions themselves.
Right livelihood focuses on being engaged with others. The intention and posture that follow naturally lend themselves to presence, abundance and care. When you recognize that you have something to contribute, you will contribute. You will be generous and insightful, you will put in the time and effort, you will show up and be present.
Right livelihood is pretty simple and straightforward. How can you contribute? How can you help? How can you be of service to others?
Don't do it for the promotion, or the bonus, or the status amongst your peers. Do it because it is the right thing to do.