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What Are Your Values? (Part 1)

Values are like a compass that guides our lives, often functioning at an unconscious level, but guiding us nonetheless. They are a set of standards that determine our attitudes, choices and actions.

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We all have an internalised system of values that have developed throughout our lives – some that we may have developed independently, and some that we have inherited or absorbed from our families and culture.

Values are principles or qualities that we consider important, such as honesty, education, or hard work.

Our values reflect who we are, not what we would like to be.

They resonate with us and affect us at the deepest level. Every decision we make is based on our values, which we use as a guide to either avoid or aspire to something. Values influence why we do the things we do.

Understanding our values priorities can help lay important groundwork for making sound career decisions that fit our unique pattern of values, interests and talents. Work-related values underlie our choices about work. Some people value creativity; others place a premium on income or contribution.

When we honour our values, we find life is fulfilling, and it feels like it’s in flow. When we don’t honour our values, we can feel anxious. For example, if you value integrity and you are asked to cover up for a colleague at work, this will cause stress. You may not consciously be aware that it goes against one of your values, but you will sense the discomfort. 

Workplaces are becoming more collaborative and people are increasingly looking not just for jobs, but also for organisations whose values and culture align with their own. By the same token, the most effective organisations attract people who already share most of their key values.

Think about your values and how they have directed your life.

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