Soft Skills for Career Success – Part 2 – Focus on Values

In our last blog, we looked at the importance of recognizing your Employability Skills in identifying careers and articulating your value proposition in new roles.  In this instalment we’re going to close the circle by discussing how to identify, communicate and align your values.

What are Values?

Values are central to our decision-making.  Whether these are conscious or unconscious, values are a factor in every decision made or action taken.  Values lead to behaviour and the collective behaviour within organisations and teams leads to the formation of culture.

Values are the deeply held principles, beliefs and ideas that people hold or apply when making decisions.  People express their values through personal behaviours and organisations express their values through cultural behaviours.

When we work in organisations that align with our values, we are free to do our best work.  Our commitment and energy can be focused toward progressing our organisation’s vision.

Understanding our own values and identifying those at play within organisations can be fundamental to identifying our culture-fit and achieving success within a particular organisation or sector.

The Barrett Values Centre identifies seven levels of values:

1.       Survival Values – may include Health, Nutrition, Self-Defence, Safety

2.       Relationship Values – Belonging, Open Communication

3.       Self Esteem Values – Pride, Self-Reliance, Excellence, Self-Image are some positive values

4.       Transformation Values towards continuous growth and development – Adaptability, Courage, Team

5.       Internal Cohesion Values – Integrity, Alignment, Authenticity, Creativity

6.       Making a Difference Values – Collaboration, Intuition, Mentoring, Empathy

7.       Service Values (to humanity and the planet) – Compassion, Humility, Future Generations

Our values operate on a continuum and are interdependent.  If we focus exclusively on the lower needs (1-3) we’re unlikely to be effective leaders.  If we focus exclusively on the higher needs (5-7) we may be missing fundamental values that work as the foundation of good, effective leadership.

Organisations live by metrics such as employee turnover, revenue and customer satisfaction.  It is the values that sit as the drivers behind these metrics.  If you can identify and articulate who you are and what you stand for (i.e. your values) and you can identify examples that speak to how these drive your decision-making and successes, you’ll be well on your way to creating a great value proposition to a potential employer.

Having this personal insight will also allow you to make a clear assessment of how a potential employer is tracking with their organisational culture and whether this will be a good values-fit for you, thereby allowing you to do your best work.

Developing a mindful approach to identifying and working with values as an individual is a fundamental step in making positive, conscious change.  A great place to start is with the Barrett Values Centre where they offer a free online Personal Values Assessment that is a useful starting point for thinking about your values.

Values are at the heart of all of our coaching, whether that be in identifying a first or new career direction, articulating your value proposition in job applications or interviews or building effective teams.  If you need help with articulating your values and developing your ‘value proposition’, we offer a range of services including, team development workshops, career counselling, job search coaching, interview skill training and a great online career management program to support you.

Get in touch for a chat today.