I regularly work with people who feel as though the spark has gone out of their career, and often after years of working in the same industry or organisation, they’re desperate to find out how to put some excitement back into their job. The problem for many people in this situation is that they jump ship and think that simply changing jobs will do the trick, but unless you really understand what your career-motivators are, you run the risk of having to deal with the same problem again later on down the track…
The vital starting point for anyone who feels as though they are at a crossroads in their career is to find out what their values are. Values are what you truly stand for. They are what you believe are fundamental to your happiness and fulfillment, and they are the emotional states you want to experience on a consistent basis.
Importantly, values are NOT goals, they’re emotions, and typically most people have never really spent any time thinking about what you’re their true values are.
If you work for a big corporate you’ve probably seen your company values plastered around the office, and if you think about your personal values, there are no doubt some buzz words that come to mind, such as honesty, integrity and trust, that you’d like to experience on a regular basis. But from my experience values are always far more complex than this, which is not surprising given the vital part they play in your life, both personally and professionally.
The only way to achieve long-term satisfaction and fulfillment in your career is to live by your highest ideals and to do this you must be absolutely clear about what your values are. Having a rough idea isn’t enough!
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By identifying your values you will discover what’s fundamentally important for you to live a happy and fulfilled life, and enjoy a satisfying career. So for example, you might identify that an emotion you want to experience on a consistent basis, in the context of your career, is challenge. When you look at your current job, it might be that the challenge has gone, or that you’re in an industry that you know like the back of your hand, and as a result you no longer feel challenged in that environment.
Once you identify your values you can then compare them to the results you’re currently getting in your career (and life), and you’ll be able to identify areas where perhaps you’re not experiencing those emotions at all. These are the areas you need to work on.
The process doesn’t stop there though! Once you have identified your values, you then need to work out the rules for your values – so in other words, what needs to happen for you to know you are living by those values? The answer to that question in the context of your career will help shape your ideal job.
Values are far more complex than most people anticipate and we’ve literally only scratched the surface of a very important topic here today. If you’re keen to feel motivated by your career again, or are at a cross roads and don’t know what to do next, the first step you must take is to identify your values and what actually needs to happen in order for you to feel those emotions on a consistent basis. This is the first, fundamental step I teach in all of my career coaching programs so it goes without saying that it’s a vital component in creating a career you love and should never be overlooked!
Written by Faye Hollands – Director at Outshine Consulting. Faye is an accomplished Career Coach and Time Management Specialist who has successfully coached countless clients on how to create a career they love, get more done in less time, and achieve personal and professional success.
You can contact Faye on +61 2 8323 4335 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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