If you were to name the most important things that gave worth to your work, what would they be?
Is it easy to come up with a list? Or are you struggling?
Its one of the first questions I ask my clients as I take them through the process of career change.
Why’s it important to know what your workplace values are? Well, in my view, they form the cornerstone of your career choices. Even though you may not consciously know what they are, you are driven by them anyway. They guide you, usually subconsciously towards, or away from the decisions you make. They are that much of an influence.
Let’s firstly understand what I mean by a value. Let’s take trust. For many, trust is something they deeply care about as they go about their daily business. They veer towards colleagues and partners they trust, and away from those they don’t. They feel aggrieved when someone they do business with lets them down. They will go out of their way to avoid that situation again.
When we have a strong level of feeling around a situation, it’s a good indicator of its value to you. If its presence, or lack of presence, is something that gets under your skin, you know there’s a value to explore.
When I talk about values, I ask my clients to think of a Roman pillar – imagine the large blocks of stone stacked firmly and squarely on top of each other. What happens if one of the blocks is knocked out of line?
We become unstable when we don’t live our lives true to our values. The more we leave our values behind, the more unstable the structure becomes. Identifying your values is a great way to start feeling more in control of your life. You can begin to recognise where you’re compromising, and how you might start to re-connect with your sense of self.
Once you’ve listed your most important values, go for 10 if you can, you can start to work out what you need to do to start living by them. Maybe you need to stop doing a few things, change some things, and possibly start doing things that will support you better.
I’m seeing more and more people leaving their jobs because their values are being compromised. If you’d like some help identifying yours, or if I can help you to find a career that will support the ones you’ve identified, I’d be very happy to hear from you.
Wishing you a very merry Christmas and a, happy, healthy and prosperous 2013!