So you are unclear about what your next job should be. You’ve thought about your skills set perhaps and the job tools available to you, and maybe what you enjoy doing? But have you included your Values – what is important to you?
At CCS, we often see people for career coaching who are a bit stuck. This is often because they have conflicting values. Consider Rena.
Rena works for an organisation with 30,000 employees worldwide. She is the mother of two small children, and provides the steady income in her family, her husband being a contracted carpenter. Rena has worked in her role as a Customer Service Adviser for the last six years, and both she and her manager believe she is ready for promotion. But the only openings available right now involve a posting abroad. Rena is torn, as although she knows she could do the job, it would involve a major upheaval for her family – her children are settled at school with good friends, and her husband at the moment has a reasonable amount of work.
It can be useful to think about what your values are, and to include them when deciding on best next steps. Try this exercise:
Job Tools – Work Values Exercise
On a scale of 1-10, mark how important each of the following Values is to you. 1- is of no importance and 10= is of the most utmost importance. Then, pick out the six most important Work Values and the three least important.
I suggest you complete the exercise twice, as your current mood may influence your results. Consider the actual meaning of the words, such as ‘responsibility’ – reflect on questions such as ‘what does this Value look like in practice?’ For example, one person might see responsibility as leading a large team, while someone else could see it as being given the freedom to carry out the job requirements.
|To have the company of other people|
|To belong to a team|
|To be involved actively in family life|
|To be sought out for advice|
|To do something useful for society|
|To have a role that commands respect|
|To help, care for and nurture others|
|To make a great deal of money for myself and others|
|To be free of concern over my economic needs|
|To accomplish important things|
|To take risks|
|To have considerable responsibility|
|To use skill and judgement|
|To learn new skills|
|To have competition|
|To be recognised for my contributions|
|To have professional and personal growth at work|
|To be well known|
|To lead other people|
|To influence the thoughts and actions of others|
|To use my expertise and be recognised for it|
|To seek knowledge|
|To learn new skills|
|To have a great deal of autonomy|
|To have variety of work|
|To use my creativity and originality|
|To be my own boss|
|To work alone|
|To work at my own pace|
|To develop and create new ideas|
|To achieve important things|
|To live simply, away from crowds and sophistication|
|To live the ‘good life’: near theatres, restaurants, etc|
|To have ‘work-life balance’|
|To be busy most of the time|
|To have security and stability of employment|
|To solve complex problems|
Now ask yourself these questions:
- Which of your top Work Values would be met by the job roles you are considering?
- Which would not?
- Which Work Values would compensate for those that will not be met?
- If you were offered a job role, and it met every Work Value except one, and that missing Value made you decide to turn down the job, what would that missing Value be?
- If you were offered a job role which was quite OK (but not fantastic), and yet one opportunity it gave you made you shout “Yes, I’ll take it”, would that opportunity be?
- Which of your work values have changed over the past 3-5 years?
- Which of your top work values do you need to act on now, and which ones could you either put off or work towards? (e.g. if, like Rena, your family commitments prevent you from taking a role with travel, could you use the time to learn a new language?)
Do talk over your answers above with a trusted friend, colleague, coach or mentor. Talking it through can stop you going round in circles.
No job choice will ever be perfect. And there are many factors and job tools to consider that are complementary to Work Values. (e.g. would I enjoy it? Would I be good at it?). But, if you make your choice trusting that your most important Values will be met (or that you can work towards them becoming met), then you are more likely to live comfortably with your decision.
Career Coaching gives an opportunity for anyone facing a tricky work decision to talk over the most significant and sometimes conflicting factors, which can make all the difference.