Why values matter to your career

career core values

This is the first in a two-part series on core values and work and a companion piece to our personality profile post (here). 

 

Depending on what you choose to read in your spare time, you might have come across a few statistics on employment trends in the future. Some statistics anticipate 50% of current jobs will no longer exist by 2025, while others hypothesise 50% of students will work in jobs that don’t yet exist.

On face value, those stats sound pretty scary: one in every two people who read this can’t accurately tell me what their job will be in the future.

While it sounds scary, it’s actually pretty standard, all things considered. Industrial revolutions aside (and we may very well be at the start of a third), jobs and society in general are in a constant state of development and redevelopment.

As I’ve mentioned previously, my main job is within the international education industry. What you might not know is the industry is Australia’s third and New Zealand’s fifth largest export – and both countries’ largest services export, significantly beating tourism. Despite this, it wasn’t until only recently that certain support services were created for international students. In fact, the growth in the sector drove the creation of new jobs to support it in the first place.

So what the stats are really saying is there will be a shift in jobs needs based on economic factors.

 

What matters to you?

Of course, the fact jobs needs have previously changed is probably cold comfort for grads looking to start their careers. It doesn’t get easier just because it’s happened before.

As needs shift, your less tangible qualities become even more important to build a foundation for your career. We’ve previously looked at soft skills and why employers want them, but those are outward facing. They are attributes you develop and highlight for the benefit of others.

Your values, on the other hand, are inward facing attributes and help to form your personality profile. While they can be used to demonstrate why you are a good organisational fit, your values are also really important in understanding what you need from work.

I touched on this briefly in the article on why personality profiles matter, but it also applies here: if you are fundamentally unhappy in your job, it does not bode well for your career. When you’re not in a place that meets your core values, work isn’t fun. Now, this doesn’t mean you should quit a job just because you don’t like some aspects of it (everyone’s had their fair share of jobs they’ve hated). What it means is you should be thinking about what you need from a job (it’s not just about money…) because that will help set-up the rest of your career.

This is best demonstrated in Anna’s post Values in Action. Every step of her career has been guided by her values. Her values alone didn’t make her a private contractor, but they paved the way for finding jobs that met those values and in turn provided her with valuable experience to continue in her career. Her article barely scratches the surface of her achievements, by the way.

Circling back to the start of the article, I said jobs needs change and you’re likely to be working in a job that doesn’t yet exist. Values don’t. If you understand your values, the question changes from “what will my next job look like?” to “how will my next job better meet my needs?”

Understanding those values and what to do next is hard, but Successful Graduate can help you along the way. Sign up now to find out why you are a successful graduate.



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