“It’s strange times we’re living in” a colleague recently said to me. Strange indeed. But in the midst of all the “strangeness”, I’ve seen a great deal of hope. It’s no surprise, given the current economic climate, that quite a lot of the coaching I have been involved in lately has revolved around people re-thinking their careers and planning their career strategies. Interestingly, it’s not only people who have lost their jobs, but executives transitioning into bigger or indeed new roles, graduates coming into one of the toughest job markets in recent history and all sorts of people in between.
What has struck me has been the common thread in all of them. It has revolved around their values and what makes them tick. What of themselves will they take with them to work and how will that influence their successes and failures. How do their values align to those of their organisation, what happens when they don’t, how to identify them in themselves and so on.
Again, it is not surprising that values have such an impact on us. They form the cornerstone of our lives and act as the filters for they way we behave, interpret, evaluate, choose, live and so on. Our values stay with us for most, if not all of our lives and they are one of the most consistent aspects of us. Our best friends tend to be people who share our values and our beliefs. We feel most appreciated ( and consequently motivated) when our values are appreciated. We feel most conflicted when our values are stepped on.
So I would suggest when thinking about your career, think about what your values are. And then think about your job or intended career path and ask yourself, how they fit together. Are you bringing your values to work with you, or are you keeping them tucked away somewhere, when you are happiest, what are you doing? Who are the people you align with most? With least? How do these relationships impact your potential for success?
Losing your job can be one of the biggest life changing events that people face sitting alongside, marriage, birth, death and moving house. And it is no surprise that people who do lose their jobs go through a typical grieving cycle of shock, anger, denial, acceptance and moving forward.
It is also one of the best opportunities to hit the pause button, reflect on what is really important to us, then move forward with new purpose. I won’t pretend and say it’s as simple as that, it will take work and focus, but you may be pleasantly surprised by what you discover!