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


Career Question #1 – What’s Right About This?

Info: Career Question #1 marks the beginning of a series in which I will share empowering questions for your life and career. The original article was written in 2019 for another website and has been slightly redacted since.

Sometimes I get requests from people who have been on the job hunt for a longer time. Seemingly without any success. While I fully understand the growing frustration with every rejection, I don’t buy into the candidates’ story of “nobody wants me because…” And here is why. I don’t buy into concepts of “good luck” or “bad luck.” If you do, cool, I don’t. But what I do know to be helpful and empowering is changing perspective if being stuck in a rather unfortunate situation. Let’s be honest; frustration doesn’t get you anywhere.

So what can you do when you feel stuck in your “job hunt?” Ask a what I call a “career question”. A very unusual and empowering question. Here it comes:

Career Question #1 – “What’s right about this that I’m not getting?”

Yes, you read correctly. What’s right about it? Not what’s wrong. See, this is the trap most of us fall into so often. If something doesn’t work out the way we expect it, we almost immediately ask ourselves like

  • Why me?
  • What have I done wrong?
  • What’s wrong with me?

Career Question #1Using these questions habitually is s a surefire path to increasing frustration. Please know: Our mind is conditioned to find answers to every question we ask. Every question. No matter if the question makes sense or not. So when you ask what’s wrong with you, your mind will deliver you all the answers it finds in its “memory database.” Unfortunately, the chances are that those are plenty.

Following this theory, your mind will equally deliver you all the answers if you ask what’s right about the situation. However, this might not happen immediately. As the question is so unusual, you might even experience a couple of seconds in which the mind goes blank. That’s okay. So, let’s give it a try right now. Bring a situation to mind you consider rather unlucky. It could be your job search or something else.

Now, read the question out loud.

“What’s right about this that I’m not getting?”

Even if you don’t get an answer right away, rest assured it will come to you. And it will likely surprise you. The answer might be that you continue applying in an industry you no longer enjoy. It might be time to make the career dream come true you buried for so long. It might be that you want to live somewhere else. It might be that you have “outgrown” the roles you are applying for. And that it is time to take the next step in your career.

To cut it short, you will get answers that are right for your situation, and that will give you additional information you haven’t considered yet. So, whatever the new information is, I recommend acting on it. And ask more empowering questions using positive wording.

Question Your Career Situation Constructively

I often use this question (and many others I will continue sharing) for all areas of my life, and it has provided me with more beautiful insights than I could ever imagine. Did it create change? Oh, yes! For the better? Definitely! Was I afraid of change at times? Definitely yes! But it was worth it.

So next time you find yourself receiving another rejection or even no answer from the company/recruiter, use the above question to get more information for yourself. Then act accordingly.

Last but not least, this brilliant tool is not mine, but from an organization called Access Consciousness. They discovered the beauty of using empowering questions a couple of decades ago. And if you have more specific questions about the tool or wish to share feedback about your usage of it, feel free to reach out here.

En-Joy your day & never stop questioning!

Nicole | NEL Career Services

What is a Discovery Call?

A Discovery Call is a free and easy way to know more about NEL Career Services, its values and principles, and its offerings. Let’s be honest; career services like executive search or career consulting come with a high cost, and you want to know where your money goes. And if it is worth spending. Also, there is another point you might ask yourself. Can I trust the other? Is my project / my career development in good hands? 

Not A Typical Sales Call

Discovery Call
Feel free to connect on LinkedIn.

Please know that a Discovery Call is not a typical sales call. It is a “get to know” and even more a “get a feel” of what to expect when working with NEL Career Services. We will be talking about your specific situation, exchanging thoughts, and giving one or the other first recommendation on handling it. Free of charge. That’s NEL Career Services’ gift to you.

What is equally essential to create a focused yet relaxed atmosphere during the call. So, please make sure that you have time for the call. I do not recommend squeezing the Discovery Call between two crucial meetings.

Benefits Of Your Discovery Call

And this is what you will benefit from when you sign up for the free call:

  • 45 minutes of undivided attention, FREE of charge
  • At least three valuable suggestions for your specific situation, no matter if you book a service or not. Again, this is a gift to you. No strings attached.
  • A relaxed and unbiased atmosphere that inspires ease and encourages an open conversation
  • A road map on how to solve your situation (including timeline, necessary action steps, etc.)

And then we take it from there. If you are interested in working with NEL Career Services, you will receive a formal offer, including everything we discussed. Once you accept the offer, we can start right away.

And now, it’s up to you. If you are ready to find out more, please send a mail here to arrange your call. Ideally, you briefly outline your situation and let us know when you have time for the call. Thank you!