By Brenda L. Peterson, The Layoff Lady
Learning About Yourself
When thinking about the life you want to live, it's essential to start with what is truly important to you. Identifying those guiding principles will help you make decisions about how you budget your money, which people you will surround yourself with, and what type of work is right for you. Finding the words to express your values can help you live in alignment and increase your overall wellbeing.
The Question: What is Important to Me?
In the abstract, it can be hard to figure out what really matters to you. It's even harder trying to convert your thoughts and feelings into meaningful words that can help you express what is meaningful to you. Fortunately, there is a tool you can use to help you find the right words.
Part of the Answer: think2perform Values Exercise
At a previous job, when designing a retirement planning seminar, I discovered the think2perform Online Values Exercise. I take this assessment on at least an annual basis. Even though the words that resonate with me stay very similar over time, the process helps me revisit what matters to me most at that point in time.
The assessment includes 51 value cards and four rounds of reviewing the cards. The total time to complete this activity is about 15 minutes or more, depending on how much contemplation you do. In the end, you'll have five value cards remaining with descriptions that name and describe key areas that matter to you.
The Words You Choose May Change Over Time
I have completed this values exercise multiple times. My results vary depending on what is happening in the rest of my life right then. The words that have remained in my top five consistently over time are autonomy, relationships, and health.
When lilfe has felt unpredictable, words like stability, security, and safety have moved up. Similarly, since work is such an important part of my life, there is always a word directly related to what I do for a living. In the past, terms like work, education, or helping others indicated what work meant to me at that time.
Applying Your Values To Your Life
In the final phase of the values activity, I thought very hard about which words were the best guiding principles for me. Here are the values that resonated with me this time around.
Applying Your Values To Your Work
Be sure to use your values as you consider the type of work you want to do and the workplace environment that will help you succeed.
What Do You Think?
How do your values influence your career decisions? Share your thoughts in the comments.
7-time layoff survivor Brenda L. Peterson, The Layoff Lady, waxes poetic on layoffs, job transitions, & career resilience.
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Were you recently laid off from your job and need a roadmap for what's next? Pick up a copy of my book, Seven Lessons From Seven Layoffs: A Guide!