The Positive Power of Values

The Positive Power of Values

Once you’ve described all the facets of your job, the next step is to understand the relationship between what you do and the way you feel.

I use the term values as a descriptor of personal priorities; as a yardstick to help you:

  • Understand what types of work-related activities you really enjoy;
  • Determine which goals or accomplishments are important to you and give you a feeling of satisfaction; and
  • Evaluate whether your personal priorities are in balance, or in harmony with your job situation.

Although it’s fairly simple to decipher which daily tasks you really enjoy, the task of scrutinizing your personal priorities can be tricky. That’s because there are often factors unrelated to your job that can come into play.

To demonstrate the importance of values in our decision-making process, consider the following:

  • I witnessed a job-seeker turn down a position because he was an amateur athlete and he didn’t like the air quality where my client company was located.
  • Not long ago, I placed a candidate who was a long distance runner. He took the position largely because his new boss was also a runner, and would understand his need to take off work twice a year to run the New York City and Boston marathons.
  • I arranged for an engineer to take a job with a company that offered him a demotion, since being highly visible within his current employer’s department made him feel uncomfortable.
  • I helped a radar engineer change to a lower paying job. The reason? The engineer was a member of the 1988 Olympic rowing team, and the new company was near a river.
  • I once found an excellent job for a chemist who was also an avid taxidermist. At the last minute, the chemist turned down the job, which would have required his relocation from Utah to northern California. The chemist explained that the climate in California was unsuitable for stuffing ducks.Later, I discovered the duck-stuffer’s true reason for turning down the new job. He had a hometown mistress, and he couldn’t convince her to relocate to California with him. The point is, we all have highly personal motivations that guide our career choices.