Job loss is among the top five most stressful life events. Changing a job changes everything - your commute, your goals, your team, and, presumably, your pay. It is life-changing in so many ways.
The job search is ideal for re-evaluating what you're looking for and redefining your unique values. Values are like a social media filter; they change the way you see everything.
Values help you understand how you fit into the workplace. By having this information defined before accepting a new role, you can better understand if value and cultural alignment are possible at that company.
The answer to that critical question is continuously changing. Values evolve. Priorities change. Not many people live in a world where their passion and purpose is so evident early in life that they will only experience one career. Instead, values are more like a mosaic. That's why we have to re-evaluate them during life-shifting events, like conducting a job search.
Exploring your values begins by understanding your purpose. What motivates you? Values are a reflection of what's currently happening in your life and will be unique to you.
How To Assess Your Values
To begin, set aside dedicated time to work on this exercise. It can take anywhere between 30 minutes and one day.
Start by reviewing each word in this chart. While you'll notice that some words are entirely contradictory, that is on purpose. All of these words are not your values.
Instead, read each word carefully—notice which keywords make you feel energized, passionate, or excited. Write down the top 10 with a maximum of 15 value words.
Then, write a sentence or two about each one. For example, let's assume you pick Meaningful Work from this chart. What does Meaningful Work mean to you? Who/what do you influence?
Include that intel in your follow-up sentences. Describe how it makes you feel or how this value motivates you. Explore the dimensions and examples where these values are at play to understand what these words mean to you.
You'll then prioritize these value statements from most to least important. Start at the top, then consider the second value. Is it more or less important than the first? Continue through each of the words you selected. Here's an example of that prioritized value list.
This assessment isn't done yet.
Throughout your job search and life changes, periodically review this work and reassess your values. It's simple and necessary to help you understand the evolution of your values and what's most important.
Getting to know yourself is a lifetime occupation and will always require evaluation to truly understand the mosaic of your experiences and how they shed light on your values and what you want from a new job.
Read on for more ways to make your job search a success: Self-Assessment Provides Insight into Job Searching
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