As women, we are often told to “lean in” and pursue our careers with gusto.
But what happens when we feel unfulfilled or out of alignment with our work? It can be disheartening to put in long hours and hard work only to feel like something is missing. The key to finding fulfillment in your career is to align your values with your work or business. In this article, we will explore how to figure out your values, find work that aligns with them, and start building a fulfilling and purpose-driven career.
What Are Values and Why Are They Important?
Values are the guiding principles that influence our behaviors and decisions. They are the things that are most important to us, such as honesty, integrity, and compassion. When our work or business aligns with our values, we feel a sense of purpose and fulfillment. On the other hand, when our work or business conflicts with our values, we feel unhappy, stressed, and unfulfilled.
How to Figure Out Your Values
One of the first steps in aligning your work or business with your values is to figure out what those values are. Here are some tips to help you get started:
- Reflect on your past experiences: Think about times in your life when you felt happiest and most fulfilled. What values were present in those moments? For example, if you felt fulfilled when you were volunteering, your values may include service, compassion, and community.
- Identify your strengths: What are you good at? What comes naturally to you? Your values may be related to your strengths, such as creativity, innovation, or problem-solving.
- Consider your passions: What do you love to do? What brings you joy? Your values may be tied to your passions, such as adventure, exploration, or growth.
- Take assessments: There are many assessments available online that can help you identify your values. For example, the VIA Character Strengths assessment can help you identify your top character strengths, which are often tied to your values.
Finding Work or Starting a Business that Aligns with Your Values
Once you have a clear understanding of your values, the next step is to find work or start a business that aligns with them. Here are some tips to help you get started:
- Research companies: Look for companies that share your values. You can research company values on their website, social media, or in the news. Glassdoor is another great resource for learning about company culture and values.
- Network: Attend events and conferences related to your industry or interests. Connect with people who share your values and can help you find opportunities that align with them.
- Start your own business: If you can’t find a company that aligns with your values, consider starting your own business. This will give you the freedom to create a company culture that reflects your values.
Building a Purpose-Driven Career
Once you have found work or started a business that aligns with your values, the next step is to build a purpose-driven career. Here are some tips to help you stay true to your values:
- Make values-based decisions: Before making any decisions, ask yourself whether they align with your values. If they don’t, consider alternative options.
- Surround yourself with supportive people: Find a community of people who share your values and can help keep you accountable. This could include friends, family,
- Now that you have a list of your values, it’s time to start thinking about how you can align your work or business with those values. This might seem overwhelming at first, but remember that it doesn’t have to happen all at once. It’s okay to start small and make incremental changes as you go.
- One helpful exercise is to make a list of potential career or business options that align with your values. Don’t worry about being too specific at this stage – just brainstorm as many possibilities as you can think of. Once you have a list, start doing some research to learn more about each option. What skills or qualifications do you need? What kind of experience is required? How much does the work pay? Is it a stable industry?
As you start to narrow down your options, think about how you can gain the skills and experience you need to pursue that career or business. This might mean going back to school or taking courses online, volunteering in your desired industry, or networking with professionals in that field. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice from mentors, friends, or colleagues who have experience in your desired industry.
It’s also important to keep in mind that your values may change over time, and that’s okay. As you grow and evolve as a person, your priorities may shift, and that can impact your career or business goals. Stay open to new opportunities and be willing to reassess your values periodically to ensure that you’re on the right path.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: How can I figure out what my values are?
A: Take some time to reflect on what’s important to you in life. Think about your happiest memories, the moments that made you feel most fulfilled, and the times when you felt most proud of yourself. Write down the values that come to mind and try to identify patterns or themes.
Q: What if my values conflict with each other?
A: It’s normal to have conflicting values, and it can be challenging to navigate those conflicts. One way to address this is to prioritize your values and decide which ones are most important to you. That can help you make decisions when values come into conflict.
Q: What if I’m not sure what kind of work or business aligns with my values?
A: Start by brainstorming potential options and doing research to learn more about them. Consider talking to people in those industries and asking for their advice. You may also want to consider working with a career coach or business consultant who can help you identify your strengths and interests.
In conclusion, figuring out your values is an important step in creating a fulfilling and meaningful career or business. By taking the time to reflect on what’s important to you, you can identify your priorities and align your work with your values. Remember to be patient with yourself and take things one step at a time – building a career or business that aligns with your values is a process, but it’s one that can lead to great rewards in the long run.