When is the last time you sat down and thought about your values?
Reflecting on your values can be especially beneficial when approaching career and life transitions. What is important to you in your job, family relationships, friendships, community, and you spend your time outside of work? While some values can remain fairly stable over time, the relative importance of certain values may shift based on your phase of life and changes in career, job, relationships, health status, etc. If you are feeling stuck, overwhelmed, or dissatisfied at work or in life, there is often an underlying need or value that is not being met.
Unsure what your values are? A quick google search on values lists and the wheel of life can help get you started on how to identify your values in different life domains. I typically recommend clients read through a values list and look for their top 3-5 values. And then reflect on how well they are currently living those values on a daily basis at work and life. Sometimes changes can be made to bring your daily activities and behaviors into better alignment with your values; other times it takes making a job or other life change to get there.
A triggering life event for me recently that forced me to reflect on my values was retiring from the military. When thinking about what was more important to me in this new life chapter, a few values stood out to me. While it was still important to me to pursue work that was fulfilling and gave me a sense of purpose, I also desired to have more autonomy, family time, and time freedom than I had during my military career. I then used that information to inform what type of job and work environment I wanted next. Starting my own coaching and consultation business that offered a mix of working from home and occasional travel has been a good fit so far. Of course I will continually re-assess when (not if) life throws more curve balls.
Taking an inventory of your values and letting them be the compass that informs the career and life choices you make can help you create the life you want. Knowing your values can help you create meaningful goals, prioritize, and make decisions in your daily life.
What is one value that you would like to dial up more in your life?