Do Your Career and Work Values Align?
A misalignment between the two could make you completely miserable, trigger depression or even cause you to become physically ill. What are your core values, and why are they important to consider when evaluating your career options?
Your core values are principles that you find desirable, important or even essential.
An alignment between your career and your core values produces satisfaction, a sense of fulfillment, happiness and joy. A misalignment can cause can everything from minor problems to major disruptions. Work core values are typically broken into three types:
- Extrinsic values relate to the tangible rewards derived from your career and your work environment. Some examples of extrinsic values are pay, working as part of a team and providing influence.
- Intrinsic values are related to the intangibles about the career. These are the values that motivate you and help you feel fulfilled. Examples of intrinsic values are giving back to society and expressing your creativity.
- Lifestyle values. Lifestyle values are a type of second-tier value. What you do for a career and where you work produces a certain type of lifestyle. The type of lifestyle you desire can help complete the picture of what you value. A few examples of lifestyle values include living in a big city, living simply, and traveling.
Some people’s core values may have been obvious to them for a long time. For others, a recent event may uncover a set of personal core values. Recognition of your own core values may come to you naturally, or the process can be a struggle. Two people can have the same core values, yet their values can be understood or expressed in different ways. You need to have a good understanding of yourself and your values to readily analyze your current or future situations.
Why it is important to understand and align your values with your career? Your values give you a sense of purpose and are guideposts to what fits you best. When you are working in a role or organization that is not a good match for your values, your “symptoms” may vary from mild to strong. On the mild side, you might feel a general sense of discomfort or a lack of connection with your situation. Feeling a lack of motivation and constantly wanting to take a day off are other indicators that there could be a mismatch. On the extreme end, a misalignment between your career and your values could make you completely miserable, trigger depression or even cause you to become physically ill.