Earlier this week I was interviewed by a journalist for a soon-to-be-released online media piece on the topic of what to do when you land your dream job and then you quickly realise you hate it and the reality is far from a dream… it’s a job nightmare.
At one point the journalist paused in her tracks, contemplated for a moment and asked me:
So, Jimi, what are you saying is the most important thing people need to think about when they’re re-assessing their career?”.
My answer was simple…’values’.
I can confidently say that every single client relationship I have, without exception, started with a deep dive into my client’s core values. I believe that getting to know our four core values is absolutely critical to ensuring we’re making decisions that mean our reality will fulfil our desired ambition for our professional (and personal) life.
I see values exploration as the foundation stone of professional development. Once we get really clear on our four core values, we can use them to confidently make decisions relating to our career – from desired work-life balance and working culture all the way through to job location, amount of autonomy and even the values of the company we would or wouldn’t be prepared to work for.
One question I’m often asked by my clients is “do our values change over time?” Some resources argue yes, some argue no. When I reflect on my career, I am confident that my core values certainly have changed over time. My core values in my early twenties revolved around earning more and more money, adventuring and a fast-paced lifestyle. At the time, this saw me working in the world of sales in The City and New York.
Now that I’m in my mid-thirties, my four core values are: to unstick others; calmness; people and family. This is reflected in the decision to move out of London, leave my 12-year corporate career in sales and to move into the people development industry. I now support people to unstick themselves via coaching.
Sometimes, when times are hard, I often feel like going back to my old familiar ways of focussing on money above all else. When that happens, I look up from my desk. I have my four core values written on a notice board in front of me, right next to the vision map I have for my business over the next two years. Seeing this reminds me of who I really am, and what’s important to me in the present and future.
–When did you last spend 60 mins undisturbed, to review your four core values?
–What are your four core values?
–How is your current career serving those four core values?
If you’re unclear, let’s chat. I’d love to help shine a light on them for you using a exclusive and bespoke values exercise.
In my next article, I’ll be writing about how to build on your values and find your career purpose.