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Your core values form the ‘compass’ that helps you decide how you want to live your life. If you are living and working in accordance with your values, you will feel energised and motivated; conversely if you are not living and working in line with your values, things will feel wrong. Therefore developing a career that will help you fulfil your values will help you in lots of ways.

In order to identify some of your values, think about the following questions:

If you want an academic career, what are your reasons?

If you are aiming for another kind of career, what are your reasons?

What is important to you in your working life? In terms of

  • Financial reward
  • Status
  • Impact
  • Colleagues
  • Geography
  • Balance
  • Knowledge
  • What else?

When do you feel you are operating at your best? What’s happening?

When do you feel you are not performing well? What’s happening?

What’s important to you in your personal life?

When does it feel that everything is right with the world?

When does it feel that everything is wrong with the world?

All of us have lots of values, and identifying them is an ongoing exercise. They may change as we go through life, and some may conflict with others. For example, my value of family may conflict with my value of being financially independent.

The important thing is to develop an awareness of your values and keep them in mind when you are thinking about how to shape your career.

Career Anchors

Once you have an awareness of your values, you can explore further what’s important to you in your career with Edgar Schein’s Career Anchors tool. You can explore with these links:

BusinessBalls: What are Schein's Career Anchors?

Career Anchors Online

RapidBi: Career Anchors - Edgar Schein