Identify your values for a fulfilling life and career
It’s National Values Day. But what are values, and how can you identify your values to give you a fulfilling life and career? Kate Rees, NABS career coach, is passionate about the importance of values. Here, she explains how and why to determine yours.
Values are the things – the qualities, beliefs, strengths – we hold as most important in our lives.
Values relate to our whole lives. This isn’t about us at home being different to us at work. As a whole human being, our values run through everything we do.
When I coach people who are dissatisfied with their work, there’s always a significant mismatch between their work or where they’re working and their values. If we’re not working in a way that’s aligned with our values, it’s really hard to be ourselves and to do our best work.
If you’re clear about your values, you can use these as a lens through which to examine the situations, jobs and people in your life, and to then make the changes you need.
You might already be able to reel off your values, and this is great. But if you can’t, then a great way to identify your values is to think about what you are embodying when you are at your best and doing your best work.
If you can’t think of something right now, think of a time a while ago or something from outside of work – it’s all relevant. Often, what we admire in others is something we value. Also think about how others might describe you. You might come up with things like honesty, collaboration, stability, empathy and reputation. Your values should reflect your own honest perspective.
Narrow down your list to four to six values. You may have lots of values that you think are important but it’s beneficial to focus on the most important ones.
Bear in mind that values can show themselves in different ways in different situations. For example, one of mine is love. On the surface, love doesn’t necessarily feel like it’s relevant or even appropriate in a work situation. But if you don’t think about love as a romantic love, but instead consider it to be about spreading warmth, kindness and support, then you can apply this to lots of situations.
You might not meet all of your values in one part of your life. However, the important thing is to see that you’re meeting all of your values across your life and that you’re not lacking too many in your job.
Once you know your values, you can be really clear about how to be happier in a situation. If it doesn’t align with your core values, you can look at how you can make changes so that it does, or you can look at other opportunities through your values lens to see how they measure up.
NABS career coaching can help you to delve deeper into your values for a more satisfying career. For more information click here.