REASON #1 — THEY HELP UNLOCK YOUR PURPOSE
Ever asked yourself — what is my purpose? It’s a big, deep question and if you’ve ever contemplated it, it’s difficult to answer. When my clients express the desire to ‘find their purpose’, what they’re asking is how they can feel more fulfilled in their work and life.
Because purpose is such a huge, intangible idea, I prefer to ask: What impact do you want to make through your work? Or — what tasks, activities and interactions have impact and meaning to you?
Usually, the response is some form of ‘making a difference’. Many of the lawyers I work with started their legal careers because they believed in fairness and justice for all people. For my HR clients, it’s about helping people reach their full potential.
Most of us begin our careers with a clear purpose. Yet over time, we become disconnected from the ‘why’ behind our work.
I believe in the importance of doing purposeful, meaningful work. But I struggled to connect with ‘creating a life purpose statement’ and some of the abstract concepts I first learnt in my coach training. It was when I came across the idea of personal values that everything clicked!
My approach to identifying values is to look at your past patterns of behaviour. This gives you clues about your highest priorities and what’s most important to you at work.
Because when you know your values and align them to your work, you will unlock more fulfillment in your career.
REASON #2 — THEY SHOW YOU WHAT’S MISSING
When you know what your values are, you’ll easily identify your non-negotiables at work. Then, you can assess where the gaps are in your current career and make changes.
Your emotions and energy will give you big clues about your values — and what isn’t working.
Feeling frustrated, drained or unfulfilled? You may not be honouring your values in an aspect of your work, environment or a particular relationship. When you’re motivated, satisfied and ‘in flow’, it’s a clear sign you’re operating in alignment with your values.
On a recent call with a potential client, I quickly identified ‘respect’ was an important value to them. This individual felt they were well respected amongst their peers and clients — but less so in the relationship with their leader. Knowing this information allowed them to get to the bottom of what wasn’t working and address it.
When you understand your values and what’s missing in your current career, you will be able to solve the right problem!
REASON #3 — YOU’LL SET THE RIGHT CAREER GOALS
To create success on your terms, you must establish your career goals around your highest values. As a high achiever, you’ve likely followed a traditional career path. You’ve worked hard to get promoted and have successfully climbed the corporate ladder.
Our conditioning has led us to believe money, status and external success equals happiness. While these things are important, you also need to balance them with what success means to YOU.
You may want to build wealth to have financial freedom or security. One client values prestige — because it gives them a great sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. These are deep, internal reasons behind what you want.
Without a clear ‘why’, you have empty, meaningless goals. And take it from me, if you don’t have a strong purpose behind your goals, you’ll eventually lose motivation, feel dissatisfied or burn out.
But when you set your career goals with your values in mind, you will experience more fulfillment and career success.
REASON #4 — YOU’LL MAKE THE RIGHT DECISIONS
Your values are the most powerful decision-making tool you can use to find clarity and make the correct career choices.
The number one thing my clients want support with is how to ‘find clarity’. Whether it’s which career path to choose or the steps to get there. If they should apply for a promotion, new role — or which job offer to take.
The common theme is they lack clarity on their career direction. And it’s understandable. When every move you’ve made to get where you are has been carefully constructed, there’s always a fear one misstep will send your career into free fall.
I’m often asked: What happens if I make the wrong move? Will it look bad on my CV — or jeopardise my chances of future career success?
And the big one… What will people think if I fail?
It’s natural to feel fear when stepping outside your comfort zone, as your brain is wired for survival and to look for the risks. And the truth is, there’s always an element of risk attached when you make any change. After all, it’s new and unknown.
But the value of knowing your values, is they can help you make the right career decisions. By taking your past patterns of behaviour and what’s innately important to you. Then using this information to inform your career choices.
Because when you use your values to make career decisions… you will minimise fear and reduce risk with your next career move!
So there you have it. The 4 big benefits of knowing your values and how they’ve helped my clients and I unlock more fulfillment and career success. My hope is these insights will inspire you to understand your values and give you some new insights on how to apply them to your career too!