When you think of your life right now, is it what you expected? I’m not talking about the dreaded “where do you see yourself in five years’ time” question (as I’m sure NO-ONE in 2016 predicted 2021!). I’m talking about getting re-acquainted with your values; the things that really matter to you. I want you to consider your answer to the query “What do you want from your life, now?” Once you uncover your values, it can help you understand your personal and professional decision, and help you thrive!
Before we start looking at the career or work-life balance plans, I help my clients strip things back to basics. We unpeel all the years of expectations and projections of other people’s success measures, park the messages that have been chipping away at their self-esteem and confidence, and ask them to consider how their values are showing up in their life.
But first. What are values?
They are a great barometer for understanding when things are right or wrong or just OK! When you find yourself at odds with other people, projects, or jobs, after a little investigation and reflection, you may see that your values don’t match. It can help you confidently say NO, so you can say YES to what matters!
Research has found that there are cultural differences with what is valued across counties; if you have ever studied abroad or worked across countries, you may have been offered cultural awareness courses. These values differences can still occur much closer to home! How often has a client, or project, or career move just felt off? Or, on the flip side, was so very, very RIGHT?
That’s your values at play!
What are your values? For some people, this blog may be is the first time you have spent any time on your values. It may have come up before in a HR led, strategic introduction of values as part of an employer’s plan for culture development. Did you ever stop and consider how those companywide values mesh with their personal ones? If you are now in a position of running your own business, going freelance or heading up a department, you may be wondering is there is match between what is important you and what is important to the brand. If you are in the common situation of YOU are the brand, then it’s even more essential that you know what you stand for!
Hopefully, this brief introduction has shown you why understanding your values is the first step in creating a career to enjoy. It’s your blueprint to life, and as Hopson and Scally say, ” … a mirror image of who we are at any moment”. Your life experiences can alter and craft your values, even though they are established in childhood. I know the highs, lows and challenges in life has tweaked my values; but understanding my core ones have helped me take leaps of faith, support difficult conversations, and keep me on track when things are unpredictable!
So, today, I want to start you off by thinking about what your values may be. Work through each of these questions, making sure you are honest with yourself!
How do you measure and evidence success?
What motivates you?
How do you build trust with others?
What do you find frustrating about others?
What would make you walk away from a job or a client?
What would make you walk away from a relationship?
What do you admire in others?
What do you want to be remembered for?
Once you have these answers, it the beginning of getting clear about what matters to you. It can help you focus when you feel off-centre, help you stand firm with your boundaries and help you make the next right step personality and professionally. Unpicking your unconscious WHY can help you start to build a plan for WHAT NEXT?
Every time a new challenge or decision comes up, you can see how they track against your values. You want to make sure that the only things that you spend time and energy on can represent your values as they are valuable to you! (And I’m not apologising for the pun!)
I’m a straight-talking, practical, and experienced coach helping clients navigate the tricky waters of returning to work, career changes and professional development. The Balance Collective has a social mission, focused on improving the lives of parents, by working together to build inner confidence and promote a healthy work/life balance. Isn’t it time to you had a career to enjoy not endure? Find other blogs like this one right here.
Want to see how I can help you create a career to enjoy? Book some time to talk here.