“There is no passion to be found in playing small—in settling for a life that is less than you are capable of living.” – Nelson Mandela –
Our values make us who we are. They are developed over time in the interactions we experience. It is important for you to understand your values as they act as internal guides to the things you do and say.
The majority of people have never sat down and thought about or documented what their values are. If you are unsure about your key values, I encourage you to review the extensive list of values below to assist in determining what they truly are. If there are values missing from this list, add these to the bottom blank section and treat them as a part of the two exercises below.
It is important to be aware of the values that are meaningful to us. If we know what we value, we are better positioned to think about what industries, types of jobs and companies we may be most suited to. Or whether or not we want to work for ourselves. It will also help to identify those values that we want to avoid in our career and life.
The world of work is no longer predictable. We live in a time that has been termed VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity & Ambiguity). For a lot of professions, the way that we once managed our careers is no longer applicable. The traditional ‘ladder style’ career management model may work for some, such as those who join accounting or legal firms and look to follow the partnership path. However, for a lot of us, we need to adopt a more agile approach to how we manage our careers if we want to experience a personally and financially fulfilling career. Our professions may be in flux, evolving and new streams emerging, or we may look to adopt a portfolio or flexible approach to how we manage our careers – all of which require an agile approach.
Realistically we can expect to change jobs every 3-4 years, which may involve a job or career change through choice or redundancy. I use the analogy of a game of snakes and ladders to represent the agile career management model. It is certainly a positive model as it represents fun, opportunities and choices. We may be climbing one ladder to find that we have reached the top and look to take on a new challenge in a different field. We may lose our job and slide down a snake, however there are lots of ladders (opportunities) around us that we can jump on board. The key theme around an agile model is to ensure that your values are being met and that you are experiencing a sense of purpose in the work that you do. It requires a letting go of the old ideas about how a career should look! Your career should look just as you want it to. There are no right or wrong careers, there are only people who are engaged and satisfied in their work and those who are not!
Working in today’s market requires a degree of self-awareness, understanding where you can add value and having a more opportunistic and strategic approach to your career. The ability to re-invent ourselves as the need arises and ensuring that we have a positive and accurate personal brand in the marketplace. It is about working in your job and also making time each week to be working on your career.
What style of career management will work best for you?