Career Values Shift
Jill Klees M.A. '95
Have you ever felt like this?
- “I used to feel so happy coming to work and now I rarely have that feeling."
- “It is getting harder for me to get up and get going in the morning when I used to jump right up with anticipation.”
- “When I first started my job, I felt really motivated and engaged and now I am not sure what happened but I just don’t feel that way anymore.”
- “Before I had my first child, I felt like I was on the fast track in my career and now I feel like I have put the brakes on. I just don’t want to work that hard anymore.”
- "I used to be the first person in the office and the last to leave. I was so excited about the project I was working on. I still enjoy my work but that energized feeling is no longer there.”
You know from your SCU education that your values are your core beliefs. They represent the philosophies that you hold about life, its purpose, and your own purpose. If any of the statements above resonate, it might be fair to say that you are experiencing a values shift.
A values shift occurs when your core values are no longer satisfied. The level of satisfaction or dissatisfaction you experience at work may be directly related to the values that you find MOST important and whether or not those values are being satisfied to the extent that you need them to be.
Here are a few tips to identify if your values are out of balance.
Find some quiet time outside of work and away from distractions to give yourself the mental space to tune-in and contemplate your answers to the questions below:
- Which values are MOST important to me right now? For example: family, security, money, time, autonomy, accomplishment, collaboration, status, work/life balance, recognition, health/wellness, etc.
- What has changed in my personal life that may be affecting my work life?
- What specifically about my work situation has changed?
- What specifically about my job doesn’t fit?
- Which areas of my work do I have control to change and which areas do I not?
- What does the ideal job and work setting look like?
- In what specific ways does my job differ from my ideal and how does that relate to what is most important in my life?
Stepping back and taking time to explore your answers to these questions may help shed light on the potential misalignment with your values at work. See if you can identify themes, patterns, or relationships between your answers that may help clarify your feelings of dissatisfaction. Once you gain clarity on your values shift, take steps to plan for regaining a sense of balance and satisfaction between you and your work related values.
Check the SCU Career Center alumni page for more resources, tips, and strategies to managing your career.