When Your Career Conflicts With Your Values, Where Do You Turn?

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When Your Career Conflicts With Your Values, Where Do You Turn?

The American author, Annie Dillard, once said: “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” For many of us, our careers comprise a significant portion of our time, which means our work is integral to how we live our lives day in and day out.

At The Humphreys Group, we are fueled by the work we do for our clients every day. Our advisors are inspired by a set of shared core workplace values to do their best, and we consistently encourage our clients to establish the values that guide their professional, personal and financial goals.

But what if your career no longer fits your values? What if you’ve lost a sense of purpose or direction in your work? What if you don’t feel the connection to your career that you once did? What if you lack the motivation that has driven you in the past?

Given that women today will sustain diverse professional lives and increasingly seek active retirements, this phenomenon is more common than many of us may realize. The first step toward improving the situation is to begin by examining one’s intrinsic and extrinsic goals and values.

Intrinsic values are those unique and personal factors that motivate individuals and contribute to their feelings of fulfillment at work (i.e., improving lives, creative expression, mentoring role, etc.). Conversely, extrinsic values are those that relate to the tangible rewards of employment and one’s specific workplace (pay and benefits, influencing the industry, collaboration, innovation, etc.). Having a strong understanding of your intrinsic and extrinsic values will allow you to better pinpoint what your career may (or may not) be missing, and how you can better fuel what drives your need for purpose and security.

Next, we turn to other experts who offer suggestions that help individuals explore their goals and values; develop a stronger sense of at-work purpose; clarify their career direction; and foster long-term financial security. These suggestions include:

  • Identifying your core values and determining how they influence or fit your current career and goals. This list may help.
  • Examining your organization’s values. This list may help.
  • Seeking overlap between your values and your workplace’s values. This can help you develop a plan to nurture those connections at your current job and strengthen your career goals.
  • Consider whether a workplace or career change may be necessary. Sometimes an individual’s career and goals no longer fit their values, and it’s better for all involved to re-align.

The values we have established at The Humphreys Group guide and strengthen our daily work, our company goals and our client relationships. We welcome the opportunity to help you do the same. Contact us today for assistance with developing strategies that ensure your values are supporting your goals — at work, in life and with your finances.