Want a Meaningful Career? Discover Your Values
Few, if any aspects of life have been left unaffected by the pandemic, be it physical and mental health, social and intimate relationships or the all-important career. As we inch towards reopening workplaces, employers are expected to see a wave of resignations as predicted by Anthony Klotz, a Texas A&M University associate management professor. One of the reasons he provides for #TheGreatResignation is a forced re-evaluation of priorities that the pandemic brought upon us.
Along with unprecedented uncertainty - we've come face-to-face with the precarious nature of life with many being personally affected by illness and loss. Although the morbid truth remains that none of us has ever been guaranteed a moment alive, gratitude for the life we have has been thrust upon us anew. With this has come the contemplation of how we want to spend what life is available to us - we've been reintroduced to living our values.
Where pre-pandemic, employers had carte-blanche on which of our values we got to live out in exchange for a paycheck, the ability of companies to sustain operations even with employees working remotely has created a fundamental shift in the expectations people have over the experience of their work day.
If you are someone who is contemplating a job or career change as a result of a renewed association with your values, here are some things to keep in mind
Distinguish between challenges and a bad fit
A change of situation does not automatically solve existing problems. It is understandable to think that whatever is not working for you right now will be fixed when you change the situation you are in. Barring truly toxic situations, that is wholly untrue. You are still the same person and will in fact bring your perspective with you, no matter where you go. Understand whether your drive for change is to truly realign your work with your values or an attempt to avoid a challenging situation. If you are honest with yourself and find that through some effort of your own the state of things at your current workplace could improve, it is likely that your outlook is what requires tweaking. An unaltered perspective, even in a new situation, will bring back the old problems.
Who does your job allow you to be?
No matter what the job, we're unusually fortunate if we enjoy every aspect of it. When in search of a good fit for a new career, in addition to the work involved, take guidance from the person that this role will allow you to be most of the time. If you have discovered that quality family time (however you define that) is valuable to you, think of how your position could accommodate that, whether through flexible hours or remote work. If you find interactions with people energizing, explore how your role could provide that opportunity and if those same interactions are exhausting, then ask what boundaries the work culture provides. The person you get to be can sometimes makeup for the more tedious facets of a job.
Stay in touch with your values
With ever-changing circumstances in the world and in our own lives, our values will change too. Make it a habit to contemplate on them to stay in touch with what is important to you, what your current priorities are and re-evaluate as things progress. It should not take another pandemic to steer us towards a more meaningful life.
Good Luck on your upcoming career move!