Tag Archives: Work Values

Knowing your work values is important

I recall when Wes Welker, then a wide receiver for the New England Patriots, declared that the 2011 walkout of NFL players “is pretty sad.” He further told reporters that he was happy to be playing and never imagined he’d be making the money he is. It was obvious he loved football.

Values

This made me think of two things: one, there are professional players who want to play the season and two, money isn’t everything to some of them. Surely pro athletes make more money than most of us could imagine, but for a pro athlete to imply that he makes 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 delivered at our career center, I conducted an exercise on work values. This exercise made my clients think about which values would make their jobs more rewarding. Many of the workshop attendees list values such as:

  • Achievement: being able to meet their goals.
  • Balance: having time for family, work and play.
  • Independence/Autonomy: control of their own destiny.
  • Influence: able to have an impact on others.
  • Integrity: stand up for their beliefs, as well as others who showed strong character..
  • 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 their core beliefs.
  • Creativity: able to express their personality in your work.

Over the years our values may change. Some of my clients saw health as their number one value, and this came as no surprise, as they were older workers and their bodies were changing. Personally, I valued balance, creativity, and autonomy. I desire the same values, but autonomy is at the top of my list.

My workshop attendees agreed that unless their values were met, they’d be unhappy with their perspective jobs. Some openly admit that they were unhappy at their last job because their values weren’t being met.

Job seekers need to determine if their values jive with the company’s

Now the question is how do job seekers know if a perspective company supports their values? The simple answer might be to simply ask during their questioning phase. “What are the values your company supports?” Fair enough question, right.

Another approach would be to ask someone who works for the company you’re considering. This might result in a more honest answer. “Their number one value is increasing revenue no matter what it takes” is not a value for job seekers who want balance, as it implies working long hours.

Some job seekers might feel more comfortable researching a company by going to http://www.glassdoor.com, where they can read reviews others have written on said company. My feeling about these reviews is that the people who write them might be disgruntled, so you’d never know if the reviews are accurate or written out of spite.

I’m curious to know what your three most important values are. Especially if they’re not on the list.

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Job Search Tip #2: Assess your work values

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.

10,000 hours dedicated to your job search may be too much, but the time you put in will make a difference

If you think Bill Gates and the Beatles were successful because of their innate talent alone, Malcolm Gladwell offers another reason for their success, which he outlines in his book Outliers. Outliers are people who separate themselves from the “ordinary” because of their success, which is due in part because of the 10,000-hour rule. This rule asserts that the time one spends on a certain activity can often predict his/her success.

Gates, for instance, was given the opportunity to practice on personal computers at a private secondary school he attended when personal computers arrived on the scene. This was before he attended, and dropped out of, Harvard and later developed Microsoft.

The Beatles were given the opportunity to play eight hours a day in Hamburg, Germany, when they started out. Gates and the Beatles were driven and talented individuals, of course, but having logged over 10,000 hours to perfect their art made a huge difference, according to Gladwell.

What Gladwell’s 10,000-hour theory has to do with the job search is similar to the amount of time you must put into your search. In other words, your success is proportional to the hours you dedicate to it. However, you can’t dive into your job search without having a plan of attack. Your plan has to demonstrate vision with results. Here are the five most important elements of your job search:

  1. Determining your work values and assessing your skills.
  2. Revising your résumé to fit today’s résumé.
  3. Networking with a purpose.
  4. Polishing your interview techniques, both traditional and behavioral.
  5. Maintaining that positive attitude.

I hope your job search doesn’t require 10,000 hours, or 1.2 years. Forty hours a week for six months (or 960 hours) is probably more than some of you would like to spend on your search. One of the points Gladwell makes in this “must-read” book is that success doesn’t come from only raw talent; it comes from practice and hard work. Read the Outliers. There are many other stories about how people became successful, including timing and their ethnicity.