How clear are you on your personal values? Knowing your values is key to build a career that works for you and it also helps guide you when it’s time to move on. Most importantly, it helps you make decisions that work for YOU, not just fulfilling other people’s values.
How do I work out my personal values?
Most people I have worked with tend to have between 3-7 core personal values. More is not better and there is no right or wrong. We are simply different and so are our values. My online coaching program can help you work out your values and plan your career. If you prefer to just focus on values, you can use this free tool from John Demartini or buy his book.
The fastest way to work out your values is to get clear on what you:
- do with your time (work more than the minimum, exercise, socialise, travel etc)
- spend your money on (eating out, your home, tech gadgets, new clothes, quality food etc)
- fill your space with (plants, photos, books, cozy, minimalistic, lots of colours/creativity)
Not every personal value needs to be nurtured through your work, but you will feel happier and more fulfilled if at least half of them are met. For example; if you value sustainability you may really struggle to work for a company that does not align with that.
If you are curious, my personal values are:
- Growth (challenge, learn, stretch)
- Teaching (sharing what I learn)
- Health (body, mind, rest)
- Nature (sustainability, being in/with nature)
- Connection (sharing life and experiences)
- Simplicity (minimalism, organisation, structure)
How can I use my values to check in on my career?
I believe that there are 3 key areas where knowing your values can significantly help your career. You can check in on these 3 points regardless if you’re interviewing for a new job or want to check in with your current role.
- What are the company/organisational values? If you are not sure what these are you can check out the staff intranet, the company website (usually the ‘about us’ section) or ask your manager. When you know what the values are, ask yourself if you feel these values are lived by most staff on a day to day basis. In some cases the company values are just pretty words on the website. Company values set the tone for the culture which shapes how you feel about your workplace.
- What are the values in your team? Regardless if your team is big or small, the values can be different on a team level, compared to the company as a whole. Are people helpful and understanding or not really? The team we work in sets the tone of most of the interactions we have every week.
- Which of your personal values do you connect with in your role? Do the tasks and responsibilities align with your personal values? For example; if creativity, growth and learning is important to you, these may need to be present in your role.
Knowing your values helps you form a checklist of what you need in your life to be happy and in flow. If you go through the exercise of working out your values, you will be able to decide on what to focus on and when to say ‘no’. You’ll also be able to sense when others are trying to force their values onto you. In close relationships we need to understand and accommodate what the people we love value, yet we don’t need to change our values to match theirs.
There is amazing value in having healthy boundaries around your own values, and also supporting others in living theirs. This applies to both work and personal life!