KM_CareerValues-01

As you progress in your career, it’s important to always be looking for ways to develop your career goals further. One of the best ways to do that is to define your values and focus on living into them.  In Brené Brown’s book, Dare to Lead, she touches on this and defines ‘value’ as a way of being or believing that we hold most important. Your values should be able to be applied to both your personal and professional pursuits. So how do you hone in on your personal values? We’ve broken it down into four easy steps and even included a list of values at the end for you to choose from!

1. You can’t live into values you can’t name

What holds the most importance to you should align with all that you do, regardless if you’re at home or work. In order to name your values, you need to evaluate what words apply to the way you want to live both your personal and professional life. Start by taking a look at the list of values below and highlight those that resonate with you. If you feel like there is a value that speaks to you not included on the list, don’t be afraid to add it.

KM_CareerValues-02[1]

2. Organize your values

Studies show individuals who can narrow their values down to two appear to demonstrate the most willingness to practice vulnerability and courage. Since the option of values is quite the long list, the goal is to ultimately narrow down your core values into just two words. From there you will group your selected words together into those that have similar meanings or intentions. For example, commitment, diligence, reliability might all work together. Pick one umbrella word for each category that speaks to you the most or represents that group of words best. Continue to group words together until you are left with just two sets of words, the keywords for those two sets are likely your values.

3. Applying your values to your life

Once you have found your two values, tell your closest friends and coworkers, what they are. These should be people who will respect your choices and cheer you on while you honor those values each day. Decide how you are going to practice those two values in your daily life. The easiest way to do this is to make lists, check-in with yourself throughout the day, or ask the people who know your values and see if they think you’ve been living up to them lately. If you want to challenge yourself further, try this writing prompt to help operationalize your values.

Value #1:

What are three behaviors that support your value?

1.

2.

3.

What are three slippery behaviors that are outside of your value?

1.

2.

3.

What’s an example of a time when you were fully living into this value?

Value #2:

What are three behaviors that support your value?

1.

2.

3.

What are three slippery behaviors that are outside of your value?

1.

2.

3.

What’s an example of a time when you were fully living into this value?

 

4. Don’t forget to practice empathy and self-compassion

One of the hardest parts of turning your values into everyday behaviors and actions is being vulnerable. There are people out there who’s values may not align with yours but those friends and coworkers who you shared those values with will help keep you on track. Remind yourself that the people who you hold closest to you are the opinions that matter. A trick Brown has done while working through this step was to write everyone whose opinions matter to her on a post-it note and keep it near her as a resource for times she needs it the most.