Utilizing Greater Awareness to Make Informed Career Decisions

There is no doubt that it is imperative to be aware of career values at any given time, but much more so during challenging and turbulent times. Being aware of career values enables people to make informed career decisions because turbulent and challenging times require innovative and sometimes different approaches. This may sound daunting to start off with, and it may not feel comfortable at first, but the process does get easier and the path may ultimately lead to bigger and greater goals, as a result of having greater self belief.

Many people rarely conduct a personal values audit, let alone carry out a careers values audit, but it is needless to say greater awareness leads to greater empowerment. Having greater awareness around career values means that an individual can successfully management expectations as well as have greater awareness around events or experiences which are likely to cause friction. Such awareness leads to being able to handle situations and circumstances better.

No one had anticipated the challenges which were presented as a result of the global economic turmoil, but these challenges have also presented a number of great opportunities for many people globally too.

The economic turmoil has meant countless millions have lost their jobs due to organizational changes or down sizing. Subsequently, the economic turmoil has enabled many people to reflect and even challenge the status quo by asking themselves questions such as what is working or not working in their professional lives.

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Empowerment is great when it comes to greater awareness around career values. A great starting point for many people is to familiarise themselves with their career values to find out if they are still aligned with their career aspirations and current professional commitments.

What are Career Values?

Career values are inextricably linked to personal values, and they are considered to be beliefs which are very important to an individual. Career values or any values for that matter, need to be honoured for congruency and harmony to take place, otherwise there will be dissonance if the career values and experiences are out of sync.

For example, recognition in the workplace may be an important career value for an individual. However, if s/he consistently does not get the recognition in the work place from the appropriate stakeholders, this may hamper the individual’s future performance in the workplace and may even lead to lack of motivation and work dissatisfaction.

Why does this happen? Career values have a great impact on what an individual does in the workplace, and values form the framework of his/her career perspective, which is strongly connected to his/her identity. If this is challenged, then fractious experiences, lack of motivation and engagement are likely to be the norm.

Many people may well be experiencing dissonance in their careers during these challenging and turbulent times because of the many economic challenges presented to businesses. This filters down the employee level and s/he may then have to then make challenging decisions relating to his/her working environment or his/her career.

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Interestingly, even being aware of experiences which may cause dissonance can lead to effective measures to remedy or correct the imbalances. This is why it is imperative to be aware of situations or experiences which may cause friction.

Identifying Career Values

There may be many self help kits available, but it is best to seek the assistance of a good career coach in eliciting career values. Eliciting career values is not as straight forward a process as it looks. However, before an individual discusses careers values with a coach, s/he may wish to take some time in thinking what his/her present career aspirations are and what his/her current employment gives him/her and making a note of this before s/he consults a coach.

What the coach will do is to work with an individual in identifying what is most important to the individual and what s/he seeks through his/her employment during a career values session. It may be that dissonance or harmony is identified immediately, or it may require further probing. A hierarchical list may be compiled depending on the approach adopted by the coach and this may take place over a couple or more coaching sessions.

Greater Awareness Leads to Greater Clarity

Greater awareness around career values ensures greater empowerment, especially during challenging and turbulent times, when things may be looking very challenging in the global business sphere. Identifying career values enables an individual to use this knowledge as a guiding tool during unsettling times because s/he will be able to prepare an effective strategy in dealing with any situation or experiences, which may cause dissonance as a result of tumultuous change. If the dissonance is occurring on a longer-term basis, then there are also greater opportunities to make informed career choices and decisions.

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Identifying career values with the help of a good career coach can enable an individual to take his/her career to the next best level. The present challenging times may have presented many challenges, but they have also presented many opportunities, and one of those opportunities is for people to familiarise themselves with their career aspirations and goals as well as to see whether these are still in alignment with his/her career values.

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