Why do career counselors make such a big deal of values?
This is something I get asked a lot. People sometimes find it frustrating because they just want to find a new job.
But the truth is, our values are probably the most important part of a job search and of satisfaction with work. Our values include things like what we’re being paid, how we’re treated, the work we get to do, and the hours we keep—in short, pretty much everything. And in my 15 years of experience in this field, I have never found someone who is unhappy at work who doesn’t have a few values conflicts going on.
The problem is that usually these are things we try to talk ourselves out of: I’m just being too sensitive, or, Everyone here works hours like this, so it’s no big deal, or, I guess work is just like this. But the slings and arrows really do add up, whether you’re the only one feeling that way or you’re one of many. Often it takes a big conflict, like a new staff member who really toxifies the environment, for us to notice and take action. But these days I’m seeing an increase in people who haven’t felt quite right in their jobs for a while now, and have used part of this Great Pause to evaluate why.
In career work, we loosely divide work values into three categories, so keep reading this week as we explore all three and what they mean.