Why Align Your Values with Your Purpose

Why Align Your Values with Your Purpose

Finding your purpose is much easier said than done. For most of us, it takes lot of trial and error. There's nothing like a life-changing pandemic to make us re-evaluate our values and passions. Post-Covid, many people are choosing to live their lives with purpose. Considering an average employee will spend a third of their lifetime at work, it's important to align your values with your purpose.

How to Identify Your Values

Identify your values. Search Google for a list of values and you'll find an endless supply of results. Choose a list or two and consider which values resonate with you. You can also do a self-assessment test. Identify what exactly appeals to you about each value and what it means to you.

To help you in your job search, prioritize your values list and refer to it when applying. Having a values inventory will allow you to live consciously.

There are different categories of values to consider. Some work-specific values get you up in the morning wanting to go to work. This includes a desire to help others, a respectful boss, and variety in your work. Other external values impact on your mentality. This includes your paycheck, daily commute times, and autonomy in the workspace. There are also personal and lifestyle values. Your location, savings, and time off are important considerations.

How to Find Your Purpose

Once you've identified your values, consider how they align with your purpose. Finding work that aligns with your values can be the core of your happiness because you're doing what's important to you. Not everyone has this freedom, especially in the current job market. For many people, earning money is what they value most as living expenses continue to rise. Nonetheless, Covid-19 pushed people to reflect on what is really important to them.

Your passions won't always be clear. Often, you will have a web of ideas that are you constantly re-evaluating. Is your purpose practical or emotional? Do you care about making money or changing the world? Someone who hasn't been employed for a while will value money, experience, and challenges. Someone in a long-term senior position may value exploring hobbies and family time.

Aligning your values will lead to increased productivity and a desire to show commitment to your purpose or role. This can be the difference in loving what you do and doing what you love.

How to Create a Better Work Relationship

Individuals have values, and so do companies. Aligning your values and the company's will create better cohesion. You will be more engaged at work and can see more success. Having a personal values inventory will help in a job search AND in an existing position.

You may not be totally clear on your own values. Read a company's website and note their vision. Ask yourself, does this sound like it's for me? How do I emotionally respond to this role? You can also find a company's values in their job descriptions or interview conversation. Assess what the role expects from you and what the company's long-term goals are from your position.

Your values will change over time. You may find yourself unhappy with your role a few years down the line. You can adjust it to better suit your core values with a different position or department. To do so, you need to do some self-evaluation.

When to Say No Thank You

Sometimes in your career, you'll realize that what you're doing doesn't align with your values. Remember that your job will always come with things you don't want to or don't like to do. However, you don't always have to hack it. Learn to say "No, thank you." This isn't only desirable for an individual — employers want satisfied employees as it will achieve productivity gains through motivation, loyalty, and pride.

This also applies throughout your job search. You may be desperate for work, but you don't have to apply for and accept any old role that you're offered. Consider your interests before you commit to something. In the initial stages of a new job, things are exciting and new and it's easy to brush aside a conflict in values. As soon as you're settled in, however, you'll lose engagement and satisfaction will decline. Sometimes, saying no thank you is a sensible approach to a successful career.

How to Work With Purpose

If you know your values and the opportunity is available, you can be doing meaningful and empowering work. If you're still figuring them out, your job may help you develop your passions and figure out your sense of purpose. Sometimes, this may mean saying no, or changing roles entirely. Aligning your values with your purpose contributes to your overall happiness and sense of fulfillment.

Written by Career Specialist Mar 01, 2023
Supercharge Your Job Search
Create an account to save and apply for jobs and enjoy many other benefits.

Other Articles About Getting Started

The Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator (MBTI) questionnaire shows your personality type, strengths, and tastes. Employers use this to determine where applicants fall within the 16 personality types and give them the idea of what kind of person they need for the job.
The job hunting process isn't linear. It's a process that requires preparation and organization, especially since it can be unpredictable.
Personality tests have been around since the early 1900s. Most of us do these tests out of curiosity when figuring ourselves and our values out.
Gathering feedback is an essential component of any job search. It is the element of the hunt that can change everything and transform you from an average Joe into a top prospect. It can be brutal, but it can also give you a competitive edge.