How Being Aware Of Your Core Value Can Help You In Your Career

Many professionals choose their next job based on tasks, leadership responsibility, and salary. While these are essential factors, another one is often neglected but can make all the difference in creating a healthy, sustainable career. Match your core value against your potential employer values and use the result as an equally important factor for your decision.

Do You Know Your Core Value?

From experience – my own and others – I can tell you that many people are, in fact, not sure what their core value is. Yes, most of us do have a set of values. Often it corresponds to the values of our upbringing. There is nothing right or wrong about it. Or we have a vague idea of what it could be. But have you ever sat down and had a closer look at it? No? No, problem.

Discovering your core value

Core Value - Do you know yours?
By the way, I value connections. Are you on LinkedIn? Find me here.

The following exercise is straightforward. All you need is a bit of time, a pen, paper, and a list of values. I got one for you right here. Feel free to download or make a print if you wish.

  1. Choose ten values that most correspond to you from the above list and write them down using a column form. Take your time to reflect before you choose.
  2. Create a second column and – out of the ten values – now choose five values you wish to put forward
  3. Use the above step to narrow down the list to three values. Put them in another column
  4. Then narrow them to two values.  And then:
  5. Choose one of the last two values. Voilà, that’s your core value!

Your Very Own Core Value

So what is your outcome? Did it surprise you? Or was it the value you expected? No matter what your core value is, I applaud you! Unlike many others, you are ready to look within and create more awareness for yourself and your career.

Now, what can you do with this newfound awareness? Let me share my outcome with you to give you an idea. My core value is “respect.” I expected something different. And then again, it wasn’t a surprise at all. I remembered many situations in my career that went despite all difficulties because of mutual respect. And there were some situations, and I felt something was off. It was the lack of respect. Not apparent, though, but I could feel it. Also, it made me think how much I respect myself in creating my life and career. Accordingly, I made some necessary changes.

Using Your Core Value For Developing Your Career

Values are deeply seeded within us. They are nothing we easily and readily change. And if we work in an environment that is constantly working against our “inner core,” we won’t be happy and fulfilled in our job. We quickly feel stressed, and some even get sick. And, the success we so much desire seems to elude us. Constantly working against your values is undoubtedly nothing to be recommended.

So if by chance you found out now that your core value (also consider your no. 2 and no. 3) is miles apart from your current employer’s values, it’s might be a good idea to look for a work environment that suits you better. The chances are that you can land a better one because you now know what you prefer.

Tips For Job Interviews

Now, you might ask yourself how you can figure out a company’s values during a job interview? Here are three recommendations which work best, if combined:

  1. Ask! Asking always opens doors to a more in-depth conversation.
  2. Listen well and be observant of non-verbal communication. It tells you more than words ever could.
  3. Trust your gut feeling. If something feels off, it probably is. If you feel you need more information, hop back to tip No. 1 and ask even more.

Never forget a job interview is a “beauty contest” for the candidate and the hiring company. And if your overall feeling is a “no” despite a good job description and salary because you sense conflicting values, you should be thinking twice if you take the role. Or not.

I hope you enjoyed this little exercise. If you have questions and want to share your outcome, please do it here. And, if you need support in developing your career specifically to your needs, don’t hesitate to check the Career Consulting page for more information.

En-Joy Your Day!
Nicole | NEL Career Services