We are allowed to be happy. Life has no guarantees but why not pursue happiness in your career?
Living our daily lives in conflict with the values we hold dear almost guarantees we will be frustrated and unhappy. Life is so much easier when personal values align with work. The big question is, “How do we make that happen?”
You increase the chances of aligning your work and personal lives by building your Job Search Marketing Plan around what is important to you. Start with knowing what is important to you. Start with your personal values, then interviews become a comparison. When you interview companies (like you are in charge!), you can compare what you learn about a target company with your personal values. Doesn’t fit? Then that is not the company for you.
Values Exercise. I use this interesting exercise to help clients identify their top values. Looks carefully at this list of words describing values. Check the ten words that mean the most to you. If something else is important but not included in this list, then add that special word.
Now let’s make it a little harder. Narrow the top 10 to the 5 words that are most important to you. Write them in the left hand column below. Prioritize these five values. Some must be more important than others. Now, take a look. Does this make sense? Why are these values important? Make some notes next to the prioritized values about why this value is important to you.
Tell the Truth. Do you see evidence in your life that you are living your values? Does your current job push uncomfortably close to the boundaries? If you find your current job frustrating, you might be forcing yourself to function outside of your values. Strive to balance your life, your job, and your family with your personal values.
What are you willing to do to put your life in balance? Are you willing to change jobs? Change companies? Go back to school? Change careers?
How to Use this Information. First you want to understand yourself, your needs, and the choices you are making. Consider how comfortable you will be in your next job. Be aware of the kind of business you are looking at and what kind of people you might be working with. Do they reflect values that are consistent with your values?
What are you willing to do about the areas of your life that are out of alignment? What goals can you set? These goals form an important part of your strategic Personal Marketing Plan. As you review target companies in your geography, gather information to determine that organization’s values. When it comes time to make a decision you will compare the job offer with your values.
By comparing job offers with your personal values, you are likely to make the right match for you! Check out The Interview Doctor’s Job Requirements Checklist for more tips on comparing opportunities with your experience and values.