Your values are the things which you hold dear, but inevitably they will change over time. However, few people audit them, which can be unhelpful to future jobs and career prospects.

Your values when you are young may not be your values when you are 40 and have the responsibility of a family, or the experience of other factors and situations that shape our lives, such as divorce or bereavement.

Yet without understanding your values it is almost impossible to find real meaning and fulfilment, which is especially important when it comes to finding the right job or career.

“One in two people are in the wrong job and two out of three are unfulfilled”

Your career values and needs are also inextricably linked to your personal life values and needs. Getting to know yourself will help you work out what is going to make you want to stay in your job or career or move into a new one.

Research shows that one in two people are in the wrong job and two out of three are unfulfilled.

In today’s employment market, skills are not necessarily the issue. You might get unsettled and decide to leave your job because you are unhappy or unfulfilled.

You might feel you are a “square peg in a round hole”. This could be a result of a mismatch with your skill set but is far more likely because your values are out of synch with the organisation, job or career you are in and nothing to do with your ability to do the job. Equally, you might not be stretched and able to fulfil your real potential.

For many people this is most unsettling and can cause self doubt, which could make you a prime candidate for being a “victim of restructuring” and moved into another role that you might not enjoy.

Being clear about and knowing what is important to you will be a great guide as you move forward or change direction as it will also keep you on track and motivated; help with decision making and provide a sense of purpose; add to your sense of fulfilment.

You may have come to the decision that work-life balance is now of the utmost importance to you as a result of your family situation (perhaps young family or caring for elderly parents or relatives). This could become more important and shift from a matter of values into a real need.

You may really value the opportunity to be able to work flexibly, possibly even one day a week from home. This would then have a significant impact on your next choice of job if meeting your value is unrealistic in your current role.

Other typical examples of career values and needs include:

  • feeling needed and appreciated;
  • choosing where you want to work;
  • making your own decisions;
  • developing new skills and experience;
  • managing others.

The list goes on but this is something most people find difficult to uncover. However, help is out there, enabling you to move forward with confidence to the right job or career.