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Naomi Rothwell-Boyd, April 3 2023

Best Ways To Define And Use Your Personal Values In Your Career

It is essential to understand and practice your core values in order to best navigate the world of work. Defining and using your core values as part of your career change can help you choose the right job opportunities, develop relationships with mentors, set realistic goals, and more. 

This blog post will provide insight into the best ways to identify, define and use your core values to ensure that they are helping—not hindering—your professional goals.

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There are 10 steps to follow:

1) Identify Your Core Values

2) Pinpoint What Motivates You

3) Keep An Open Mind

4) Incorporate Personal Values Into Job Search Processes

5) Set Realistic Expectations & Goals

6) Conduct Research On Potential Employers

7) Use Negotiation Strategies Effectively

8) Utilise Mentors/Networks For Advice & Guidance

9) Have A Backup Plan In Case Of Change Or Shift In Direction

10) Review Progress Regularly To Ensure You Are Still On Track

1) Identifying Your Personal Core Values

Identifying your personal values is essential to living a meaningful and fulfilling life. Personal values are the guiding principles that define your identity and your choices, helping you determine which people, things, goals, and decisions align with who you are.

The first step in identifying your personal values is to take some time to reflect on what matters most to you. Think about what drives you and motivates you in life. Consider the qualities that make up who you are as a person. Ask yourself questions such as: What do I stand for? What do I believe in? What do I prioritise?

Once you have identified the qualities that matter most to you, it’s time to create a list of personal values. There are many lists of common personal values available online, such as integrity, accountability, compassion, challenge, beauty, boldness and more. You can use these lists as a starting point for creating your own list of personal values.

It’s important to remember that everyone’s list of personal values will be different since they depend on individual beliefs and experiences. Don’t feel like you need to stick with one particular list or set of words; instead focus on creating a unique set of personal values that reflects who you are and what matters most to you.

Once you have created your list of personal values it’s important to review them regularly and make sure they still reflect who you are today. As we grow and change over time our personal values may also shift so it’s important to stay mindful of this process.

2) Pinpoint What Motivates You

Motivation is an essential part of life. It's what drives us to take action, reach our goals, and find success. But how do you know what motivates you? In this guide, we'll explore the different types of motivation and provide tips on how to identify your own personal motivators.

First, let's define motivation. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), motivation is "the process that initiates, guides, and maintains goal-oriented behaviours." It's a psychological force that compels us to take action and pursue our goals. There are two main types of motivation: intrinsic and extrinsic.

Intrinsic motivation comes from within; it's an internal drive that pushes us to do something for its own sake or because we find it enjoyable or meaningful. Extrinsic motivation comes from external sources such as rewards or punishments; it's when we do something because there is an incentive or consequence attached to it.

Now that you understand the basics of motivation, let's look at some tips for pinpointing what motivates you:

Take some time to think about your short-term and long-term goals in life. Ask yourself why these goals are important to you and what drives you to achieve them.

Pay attention to the habits that make up your daily routine; these can tell you a lot about your motivations in life. Are there activities that you consistently engage in despite having no external reward? These could be indicative of intrinsic motivations such as enjoyment or satisfaction from completing the task itself.

Read motivational quotes or watch inspiring videos online; these can help remind us of our purpose in life and why we should strive for success despite any obstacles we may face along the way.

Talking with friends, family members, mentors, or colleagues can be a great way to gain insight into your own motivations in life; hearing other people’s perspectives can help put things into perspective and give us new ideas on how best to pursue our goals moving forward.

3) Keep An Open Mind

Keeping an open mind when evaluating new opportunities is essential for a successful and rewarding life. Having an open mind allows you to explore different possibilities and discover new avenues that you may not have considered before. It also helps you to make better informed decisions based on all the available evidence, rather than relying solely on preconceived notions or assumptions.

When it comes to evaluating new opportunities, having an open mind means being willing to consider all of the possible outcomes - both positive and negative - as well as understanding that there isn’t just one “right answer”. It requires you to be flexible in your thinking and take into account a variety of factors in order to come up with the best decision.

It also means being willing to entertain new ideas and perspectives even if they differ from your own beliefs. This can lead to a greater appreciation for diversity and help build meaningful relationships with others who have different backgrounds or ways of looking at things.

Having an open mind is key to making informed decisions and finding success in life. With this attitude of openness, curiosity, and flexibility, you will be able to better navigate uncertain situations and explore new possibilities that otherwise might not have been available!

4) Incorporate Personal Values Into Job Search Processes

Finding the right job can be a daunting task. It's important to not only find a job that meets your skillset and experience, but one that also aligns with your personal values. Incorporating personal values into your job search process is an important step in finding a job that is both fulfilling and rewarding.

When you are looking for jobs, it’s important to rank your personal values so you can determine which ones are most important to you. This will help you narrow down potential employers and positions that fit with your own personal values. Researching the prospective employer’s actions and speaking to employees can give you insight into how well their own true values align with yours.

You should also look for jobs at companies that align with the type of work you want to do. Finding occupations that reinforce the work value is key in determining if this is the right fit for you.

Finally, having a core career value statement can help guide you in finding a job that upholds these top values and contributes positively to your overall career goals.

5) Set Realistic Expectations & Goals

Finding a job can be a daunting task, especially if you don't have a plan or realistic expectations. Setting goals and expectations for your job search is key to finding success. Here are some tips to help you set realistic expectations and goals for your job search.

First, be specific about the type of job you want. Knowing what kind of job you're looking for will help narrow down your search and make it easier to find the right opportunity. You should also consider what skills and experience you have that would make you an ideal candidate for the position.

Next, set SMART goals. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. These goals should be tailored to your individual needs and should focus on what you can control in your job search. For example, instead of setting a goal of getting a new job by the end of the month, set a goal of applying to five jobs per week or attending two networking events each month.

Finally, create an action plan with steps that will help you reach your goals. This could include researching potential employers or reaching out to contacts in your network who may be able to provide advice or leads on potential opportunities. Having an action plan will keep you motivated and on track throughout the process.

6) Conduct Research On Potential Employers

Research the company online and read up on their mission statement, company culture, and any other information they provide about their workplace environment. This will give you an idea of whether or not their common values match yours.

Another way to determine if a company shares your personal values is by asking probing questions during interviews. Ask questions about their policies, procedures, and expectations for employees so that you can get a better understanding of how they operate and if they would be a good fit for you.

Finally, once you have narrowed down your list of potential employers, think about how well each one matches up with your core personal values. Consider the type of work environment each offers and ask yourself if it would be conducive to achieving your goals while still allowing you to stay true to yourself and what matters most to you.

7) Use Negotiation Strategies Effectively

Negotiations are an important part of any business transaction. Knowing how to use negotiation strategies effectively can help you get the best deal for yourself or your company.

The first step in using negotiation strategies effectively is to understand what type of negotiation you are dealing with. There are four main types of negotiations: distributive, integrative, cooperative, and competitive. Distributive negotiations involve two parties who have different interests and goals. Integrative negotiations involve two parties who have similar interests and goals. Cooperative negotiations involve two parties who work together to reach a mutually beneficial agreement. Finally, competitive negotiations involve two parties who compete against each other to reach a favourable outcome for themselves.

Once you understand the type of negotiation you are dealing with, it is important to prepare yourself for the negotiation process. Preparation involves researching the other party’s interests and goals, as well as understanding your own interests and goals. It also involves gathering information about the market conditions that may affect the outcome of the negotiation.

When engaging in a negotiation, it is important to remain calm and professional at all times. This will help ensure that both sides are able to communicate clearly and effectively without getting emotional or angry. Additionally, it is important to listen carefully to what the other party has to say so that you can better understand their position and come up with effective solutions that meet both sides’ needs.

Finally, when negotiating it is important to be flexible and willing to compromise if necessary in order to reach an agreement that works for both sides. Negotiating should not be seen as a win-lose situation; instead, it should be viewed as an opportunity for both sides to benefit from reaching an agreement that meets their needs while still being fair for everyone involved.

8) Utilise Mentors/Networks For Advice & Guidance

Mentors and networks can be a great source of advice and guidance when it comes to navigating your career. Having a mentor or network of mentors can provide you with invaluable insight into the industry, as well as helping you to develop your skills and knowledge. Mentors can also provide you with an objective perspective on any challenges or issues you may be facing in your career.

When looking for mentors, it is important to find someone who has experience in the field that you are interested in and who has achieved success in their own career. This will ensure that they have the necessary knowledge and expertise to provide sound advice and guidance. It is also beneficial to seek out mentors from diverse backgrounds, as this will give you access to different perspectives on any given situation.

Networking is another important aspect of utilising mentors for advice and guidance. By networking with professionals in your field, you can build relationships that will help you gain access to valuable resources such as job opportunities, industry contacts, and even mentorship opportunities. Additionally, networking allows you to stay up-to-date on trends within the industry, which can help inform your decision making process when it comes to career decisions.

9) Have A Backup Plan In Case Of Change Or Shift In Direction

You should think about your career back up plan, just in case of changes or shifts in direction. Having a plan B can help you to remain calm and keep focused on your goals even if you experience a sudden shift in your career path.

When creating your backup plan, it is important to consider what other options are available for you should the current path not work out. It could be that you decide to take some additional classes or gain a certification in order to make yourself more attractive for other jobs. Alternatively, you could look into freelancing or starting your own business if the career path is not working out.

Additionally, it is important to keep up with the trends and changes in your industry so that you can be prepared should something unexpected happen. Keep up with industry news and research job postings to get an idea of what skills employers are looking for, as well as what opportunities may be available in the future.

10) Review Progress Regularly To Ensure You Are Still On Track

Finally, it is important to review your progress regularly to ensure that you are still on track with your career goals. This will help you to identify any areas which may need more attention or focus in order to reach your ultimate goal. Additionally, it can be beneficial to set new goals as well as revisiting old ones in order to stay motivated and focused.

When reviewing your progress, it is important to look at any successes or challenges you have faced throughout the process. This can help you to identify what has worked well and what could be improved upon in order to reach your ultimate goal. Additionally, it may be useful to ask for feedback from colleagues or mentors in order to gain an objective perspective on your progress.

By reviewing your progress regularly, you can ensure that you remain motivated and focused on your career goals for the long-term. This will help you to stay on track with your plan in order to reach success in the future.

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Author: Naomi Rothwell-Boyd

Naomi is the founder of Tribe And Seek and an EMCC and CIPD accredited career coach specialising in career change. 

Her career advice comes from her work alongside ex-olympic athletes supporting corporate clients like Kraft Heinz, and creating leadership courses at the Duke Of Edinburgh's Award.

She also left a previous career in international development consulting behind, where she led UK corporate fundraising at Habitat For Humanity.

Written by

Naomi Rothwell-Boyd


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