When it comes to career satisfaction, you need to know what really matters to you, both professionally and personally. Knowing what matters to you in life is a great way to make decisions about the kind of career path you want to take. Here are some reasons why you need to align your career decisions with your overall values in life.
Know what matters most
As you make decisions for your future, your career may be at the center of them. However, with so many paths to choose from, deciding on a career is a challenge. If you’re at the stage where you need to choose a career, knowing what matters most to you can narrow your pool of options when it comes to training or higher education.
Does making a ton of money for your future family sound like something that matters to you? Maybe you’ll want a lucrative career path, but you have to be willing to work long hours to get your career going. On the other hand, perhaps you already have a background in a trade-oriented career that you enjoy. Trade school programs can help get you started on the right path, such as in mechanics, welding, or woodworking.
If sustainability matters, find a company that cares
Understanding your values also helps you choose companies that are aligned with them. For example, if you care deeply about the environment, you’re going to want to find a brand that also cares about sustainability to be happy in your professional life.
Working at companies whose values don’t align with yours is going to impact how you do your job and how committed you feel to the company. It’s hard to show up with all your skills and talent in a place that you don’t trust.
Research industries’ reputations
The thing is that some industries have more of a ‘dog eat dog world’ reputation than others. Some fields are known to be demanding, so much so that many people in these fields don’t get to have a life balance that is enriching and fulfilling. From the medical field to life as a pilot, some careers will take a lot out of you.
If you don’t mind spending many of your hours working hard because of the end goal, then these careers could be for you. However, if you care deeply about a work-life balance, then you may want to choose something more laid-back that allows you to manage your time the way that you want.
Working at a career that opposes your values
Some people get into careers with their long-term goals in mind. However, along the way, they may find that there are underlying aspects of it that go against their core values. Whether it has to do with the environment or it has to do with who you are, staying within a career, at a job, or with a company that opposes your values or deters you from the things that matter to you is going to wear you down.
Showing up every day to do your best at a place that doesn’t feel right will take a lot out of you. So always consider this before you choose something that doesn’t align with your core values.
For example, if one of your dreams in life is to have a family, then a job that requires you to be on call or work long hours may make life challenging. Or if your passion is growing in your career, a path that doesn’t offer upward movement may not be satisfying enough.
Beyond your values
With things like integrity, family, or religion, choosing a career path that aligns could be a bit obvious. But beyond these things, you also want to take a look at your personality and the things that help you thrive.
If you know that you’re great with people, this could be an indicator to choose a career that is heavily involved in working with a team or helping other people. If you’re a bit more of an introvert, you may enjoy working at a job that allows you to hide behind a screen most of the day. Keep these things in mind when choosing a career.
Choosing a career isn’t always easy. However, when you consider your values, personality, and goals, it makes it a bit easier to choose the field that could be aligned with who you are. Speak to a career advisor to help you determine the best path for you.