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Guide to Career Values & Needs

What are your values and why are they so important?

Our values are the things which we hold dear and we all have a set of values. However, our values often change over time but we rarely audit them.

Values when we are young may not be our values when we are 40 and have the responsibility of a family, or as result of other factors and situations that shape our lives. Yet without understanding them it is almost impossible to find real meaning and fulfilment, which is especially important when it comes to finding the right job or career.

Your career values and needs are also inextricably linked to your personal life values and needs. Getting to know yourself will help work out what is going to make you want to stay in a job, career or organisation, move into a new one or even want to become your own boss!

People traditionally left their jobs because of a clear gap in their skills between their skill set and the organisational requirements, whether through redundancy or other reasons.

In today’s employment market, skills are not necessarily the issue. You might leave your job because you are unhappy or unfulfilled. You might feel you are a ‘square peg in a round hole’. This could be as a result of a mismatch with your skill set but far more likely because your values are out of synch with the organisation, job or career that you are in i.e. nothing to do with your ability to do the job.

For many people this is most unsettling and can cause self doubt, which could make you a prime candidate for redundancy if the organisation is restructuring.

Being clear about and knowing what is important to you will be a great guide to you as you move forward or change direction as it will also:

  • Keep you on track and motivated
  • Help with decision making and provide a sense or purpose
  • Add to your sense of fulfilment

Examples of Values & Needs

As a result of your family situation (either young family or caring for elderly parents or relatives) you may have come to the decision that work-life balance is now of the utmost importance to you. This could become more important and turn from a value into a real need.

You may really value the opportunity to be able to work flexibly, possibly even 1 day a week from home.

Equally, you may value being able to give something back to the community and do voluntary work part of the week. This value may determine that you change career into the Not for Profit or Public sectors.

Other typical examples of Career Values & Needs

  • Feeling needed and appreciated
  • Choosing where you want to work
  • Making your own decisions
  • Developing new skills and experience
  • Managing others

The list goes on but it is not something that most of us a good at working out on our own. It is definitely best to seek help from a Career Coach to really help you flesh out what is important to you to enable you to move forward with confidence to find the right job or career.

If you want to know more about how career values can help you find a fulfilling job or career, visit our Career & Personal Development website