In the last article we looked at the importance of beginning the job search almost immediately after losing a job. Now let’s look at assessing one’s work values, which is something people often overlook.
Wes Welker, a former wide-receiver for the New England Patriots, declared that the walkout of NFL players some three years ago was “pretty sad.” He further told reporters that he was happy when he played and never imagined he’d be making the money he was. It’s obvious he loved football.
This made me think of two things: one, there are professional players who wanted to play that season and two, money wasn’t everything to some. Surely pro athletes make more money than most of us could imagine, but for a pro athlete to almost imply that he was making more money than he should is remarkable and refreshing.
Perhaps the lesson we can take away from Wes Welker’s statement is that money doesn’t define the success of one’s career. What defines the success of one’s career is how rewarding it is. Yes, some would say that money is their most desired value; but it’s a known fact that the majority of employees hold other values closer to their heart.
In a workshop I deliver at our urban career center, I conduct an exercise on work values, asserting that we have values that make work rewarding. Many of the workshop attendees list values such as:
- Achievement: Being able to meet your goals.
- Balance: Time for family, work and play.
- Independence: Control of your own destiny.
- Influence: Able to have an impact on others.
- Integrity: Stand up for your beliefs.
- Honesty: Telling the truth and knowing that others are telling the truth.
- Power: Control over others.
- Respect: Care and trust of self and others.
- Spirituality: Believing in your core beliefs.
- Status: Having influence
- Creativity: Able to express your personality in your work
Over the years our values may change. Some of our jobseekers now see health as their number one value, and this comes as no surprise as they are mature workers and our bodies are changing. Personally, I value balance, creativity, and autonomy. Like Welker, who now plays for the Denver Broncos, money is not my number one value.
In your search for a career, it’s important to to be fully aware of your values because having them met will make you happy and more productive. Not having them met will make you feel like Welker did when he was waiting for the kick-off of the season, a kick-off he probably would have returned for a touchdown.
Next Friday, we’ll look at assessing your skills.