Career Coaching : Importance of Work Values

By: Ebru Ulufer

It is crucial to know your work values if you want to find your ideal job. Your work values are those things in your work life that you consider to be important. When you design your career based on your values, your motivation will be greatly increased and your chances of success and fulfilment improve hugely. Otherwise you're faced with spending 1/3 of your life doing something that doesn't fulfill you.

Are you aware of your work values?

Taking the time to think about the things that really matter to you is a good starting point for finding your ideal job.

Find a quiet place where you won't be disturbed. Relax your body and mind. Look at the values listed below. Make a note of the top ten values which are most like you and the five that are least like you. Take as much time as you need.

•Independence
•Helping others
•Risk taking
•Change and variety
•Stability
•Making a difference
•Prestige and the social status
•Leadership
•Teamwork
•Advancement
•Material benefits
•Security
•Artistic creativity
•Work environment
•Self expression
•Adventure/excitement
•Working outdoors
•Recognition
•Competing with others
•Influencing others
•Work-life balance
•Sense of achievement
•Intellectual stimulation
•Challenge
•Structure and predictability
•Making decisions
•Supervision
•Public contact
•Working with... (children/data/machines/numbers/ideas/hands/tools, etc)
•Working alone
•Working for a good cause
•Physical work
•Traveling often
•Being an entrepreneur
•Working in a fast-paced environment
•Having regular work hours
•Setting your own hours/having flexibility
•Location
•Having fun at work

Now that you've discovered your values you should be starting to get a sense of what is important to you in terms of your career plan.

Write a few sentences describing or summarizing how your values translate into your ideal job.

Consider how each is reflected in the work you currently do. Don't assume that to find your ideal job you have to change careers completely. If you like your job but you are not happy with long working hours, is there scope for you to negotiate fewer hours ? Maybe your job allows you to work from home a couple of days a week ? Be imaginative ! Changes don't always have to be drastic to be effective.

If you are happy with your career but find yourself working for a company whose values are totally different from yours, you are in the wrong place. In this case, you might consider applying for another company whose values align with yours.

If work-life balance is very important to you but you spend 4 hours commuting each day, this will take valuable time away from your family and the ability to pursue other activities that you would normally enjoy. Start looking for a job close to your home.

If you are sure that changing careers is the only way you will be happy, then start preparing yourself for the transition.

Remember : Confucius said, "Find a job you enjoy, and you'll never work a day in your life."

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