12 Career Values to Powerfully Inspire Your Next Career Step
Clearly articulating what matters most to us in our careers is something most of us don’t commit a lot of time to.
We might occasionally reflect when something at work really upsets us. Or take a closer look when pressed by outside circumstance – such as redundancy. But for the most part, we’re not routinely in touch with what really matters to us. It’s there in the background, but not something we continually re-assess and look to align ourselves with.
There are 2 very good reasons for being perpetually clear on your career values:
- Career success is built around a few but crucial “Pivotal Moments”. Those moments are difficult to identify when we’re not plugged-in to what really matters to you and your career.
- Career success requires a certain amount of bold decision-making. Those decisions are not just based on what we want and need; they are also heavily influenced by what we feel might be at stake.
So let’s get clear on your values by drilling a little deeper into what gets you out of bed in the morning and motivated about your career.
Drilling deeper into your career values
In conversation with my clients, when I ask them to tell me why they do what they do, I encourage them to tell me stories. Because in the telling of the story, they can most clearly articulate their highlights; and I can most easily hear their underlying values.
When I look back over my work and research, there are 12 values that really capture the essence of what’s most important to us, when it comes to career.
As you read through the list, why not do a little bit of career self-coaching?
- Make a list of your top 6 values, in order of importance.
- For each value: give yourself a satisfaction score out of 10 for your current role.
- For any value that’s not a 9 or a 10, make a note of what needs to change to make it a 10.
- What do you notice as you step through this exercise? What needs focus? What needs change?
12 powerfully inspiring career values
Trust: Do you trust your organisation? And do you feel trusted by them?
- Autonomy: What level of control do you have over what you do and how?
- Challenge: The brain loves stretch. Does your role provide positive challenge?
- Contribution: Does your work make a contribution: to the organisation and the wider world?
- Remuneration: Are you happy with your package?
- Recognition: Do your efforts and outputs get recognised by those around you?
- Creativity: Do you have scope to bring your ingenuity, imagination and artistry to the role?
- Inspiration: Does your work inspire you, your clients, customers and stakeholders? Do you inspire them?
- Motivation: Does your work fill you with a sense of intrinsic motivation?
- Involvement: Are you regularly asked for input? Are your suggestions considered and adopted?
- Alignment: Do your values align with the organisation’s? Are you surrounded by people of like-values.
- Purpose: Do you believe in and align with the organisation’s mission?
The importance of aligning with what matters
Knowing what matters most to you in your career is something to have in mind – always.
Our careers are built on the “Pivotal Moments”. And it’s that much harder to see those powerful but fleeting moments of definition and potential if we’re not aligned – and continually re-aligning – with what matters most to us.