Knowing your personal values can help you keep on track with a happy healthy career
One of the first things I do when working with a client is to work with them to identify and solidify their values. To me this is absolutely essential in order to be able to work through subsequent exercises such as identifying their vision, dealing with any obstacles and deciding on a course of action to move closer to their vision.
What exactly are personal values and why are they so important to your work and career?
Our personal values are simply the things that are most important to us. They tend to be shaped by life experiences and people (such as friends and family) but you can also choose other values that are most important to you (we will come onto this process later on).
Your personal values will be most valuable when you are confronted by a situation calling for a difficult decision, perhaps at work or making a significant career decision. Your values will guide you and help you make the best possible decision.
How will you feel if your decisions/life actions are aligned with your values?
Aligning your decision making and actions with your values is the best way to live the life you desire and to achieve the career you want (as our values are simply just the things that are most important to us). Why would you not want to ensure you are being respectful of the things that matter the most to you?
And how exactly do I determine my values and measure my decisions against them?
The goal here is to create a set of values (your judgement of what is important in life) that you can easily refer to when you are making key career and life decisions. What I like to do is start by working through some questions which will identify things you like to do that get you most fired up, what your ideal day looks like, what positive traits people say you have, identifying key times in your life when you were amazingly content and understanding why and also getting to grips with what your biggest challenges are right now. By working through the themes that come up and delving deeper in, you will get a good understanding of your core values and how they are currently expressed in your life. This can help you get a greater understanding of what is truly important to you. I love to use a colorful and vibrant mind map to really bring the values to life which helps with reflecting on, labelling and prioritizing values later in the process. Finally and most importantly, finding a way to display your key values in a creative way that works for you is such a great way of being able to regularly check in with how your actions are aligned with your values.
In what sort of situations and how often should I refer to my values?
This is really up to you – you could refer to them every day as you will make decisions based on your values every day. However, it is imperative that you refer to your values when making key decisions such as changing jobs or accepting a promotion or relocating your job.
When considering a job, you want to be sure that the company has the same values as you. You will have a much better work life if your values are aligned. You can ask questions about the company’s values in the interview, such as “what is it like to work here?” or “what are the best things about working here?” or even more specific questions that relate directly to your values.
If you would like to find out more about how I can help you identify your core values, create a vision or work together on a career action plan, please contact me.