How to Align Your Career with Your Core Values to Be Happier

Jun 9, 2021

Elizabeth Houghton

Sutton Full Potential Founder

We are all individuals, similar but not the same. All of us are drawn towards certain values that bring meaning to our life. It is only by working towards these that we can showcase and tap our potential to the fullest.

Our core values determine what is desirable and essential to us. Career satisfaction is directly linked to our personal values, and rightly so. For example, someone who is laid back and thrives in a lenient environment may find themselves unhappy working in a workplace that follows a rigid structure. To make sure that your career choice and workplace honour your life goals, you must first determine what your core values truly are.

Find Out What Motivates You

Your personal core values can be inner values or extrinsic values. A lot of core values relate to how your work makes you feel emotionally and whether it challenges you. Others have to do with the workplace environment, lifestyle and routine, and your relationships with colleagues.

Some common values that drive people are autonomy, teamwork, creativity, job security, performance income, power, leadership, kindness, diversity, moral fulfilment, honesty, adventure, ingenuity, etc.

Once you have determined what you believe in and what spurs you on, it is easier also to know what does not. Likewise, you can rule out certain careers.

Do Your Research

Your next step is to do some research on which career choices and job opportunities align with your identified personal values. For instance, the role of a firefighter would test your adaptability and composure.

Question if being in the shoes of certain roles would leave you feeling uncomfortable or fuel you to exercise your values and take charge of the situation.

A good way of narrowing down on workplaces or organisations that suit you is by perusing through the core values of the companies. If they speak to you and give a platform for your own values, go ahead and put them on your list.

Identify a Goal

Once you are more confident in your values and subsequent career choices, you must make certain career goals. These goals must utilise your values and allow you to thrive in your work. Setting goals will help you stay motivated, as they will reinforce you to work towards what you believe in, thus stirring up positive feelings.

Why Core Values Are Important to Your Career

Certain career choices and job opportunities are more lucrative and ensure financial stability. However, if they contradict your core values, you may find yourself feeling like a fish out of water with your work. Following herd behaviour may feel all right initially, but it will not make you flourish. Go with your gut and sense of individuality when it comes to choosing a career path.

You will work better and prosper when you know what you are working for. Knowing that your work is giving you fulfilment will make you feel secure in your future. You will tend to look forward to the next chapters of your life. This is only possible when you find meaning in your work.

We are all put on earth to carry out our unique purposes. Take out the time to introspect on what encourages you to do better. Envision your goals. This is the first step to planning your career path.

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