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Career PlanningJune 10, 2021by Dr. Shaunette Miller0Career Alignment with Values, Interests, and Skills

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Does your career align with your core values, interests, and skills? There are those of us who don’t know what career to pursue. There are those who are in a job and don’t know if it’s the right fit for them, and then there are those who are uncertain about how to further optimize their role in order to reach a desired goal. Knowing and understanding your core values can help you make important decisions about your job.

Do you know what your core values are?

Core values are a set of fundamental beliefs, standards or practices that guide the way you conduct your personal and professional life. Core values are the foundation of oneself. It is important to identify your own values, interests, and skills to support your professional endeavors. Have you ever been in a job or worked on a project that made you feel unmotivated or perhaps unsatisfied, with little to no interest to get the job done? Many of us have probably experienced that at one point or another. Well, how do you mitigate that? First, you must take an introspective look and ask yourself:

  • What do you love to do?
  • What are your future goals?
  • What is important to you?
  • What are you good at doing?
  • What do you enjoy doing?
  • What kind of culture do you want to work in?
  • What really motivates you?

Though you might have reflected at times on your core values, you might not have reflected on how those values relate to your interests and skills, and how they align with your career of choice. Sometimes we settle into positions that are incompatible with our interests, skillset, and professional goals; essentially, with who we are.

Understand Yourself in Order to Make the Right Career Decisions

Gaining an understanding of yourself can be a challenge, because it requires openness and vulnerability to possibilities that might be contrary to your thoughts. But recognizing your values is essential to your ability to focus and narrow your career options.

It’s important to be clear about what your interests are, because intrinsic interest fosters motivation to expend energy. It is what helps to sustain you in performing the work that you need to do.

It’s also important to assess the hard or soft skills you have developed, whether through school, job experience, or mentorship. They affect options within your career. Transferable skills are just as important, because they create more options in multiple professions.

Remember that even if you’re good at what you do in your current job, it may not necessarily be what you do best. Conversely, often some individuals may know what they do best, but they don’t know how to apply the skills in a career.

Once you have identified your values, what you do best, and what interests you, bring them together and think about how you could apply them in a career. Think of careers that align with your values, interests, and skills, keeping an open mind to new possibilities or enhancements for consideration. Clarifying and aligning your career with your values, interests, and skills can lead to personal and professional satisfaction.

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