As people search for more gratification at work – and maybe for the first time, feel entitled to it – there’s a great barometer for finding more meaning in your job. Be it in your current role, or as you search for something new.
Your own unique values.
Just like companies proudly promote their values or commitments on their websites, you, too, have a set of values that are core to who you are as a person. Core to how you can and will most successfully contribute to an organization.
If you haven’t spent time reflecting on your character strengths, the time is now. There have never been more jobs open, or more companies hiring. You have more choice, and it isn’t just about salary or hybrid / remote work. It’s also about the culture of who you’ll work for.
I recently read about a company (Ridwell) I support as a customer, and their values were “transparency, audacity, community” You often see companies focus on Community, but Transparency and Audacity? WOW. I love that. Because it’s aligned with my own sense of how I view the world. Someone else may scratch their head at a commitment to audacity. They may be more measured, more prudent. That’s cool, too. As soon as you know what’s true for you, then you can seek out companies who align with you.
If you out of alignment, no matter how wonderful the people are, or how incredible the stock options, there will be this sinking feeling in your gut. Your instincts will know, even when the big ass paycheck seeks to distract you.
Possibility and Courage are key character strengths of mine. I see possibility and am constantly questioning, wondering, upleveling, connecting dots, and hungry to take action, failure be damned. I’d struggle in an environment that accepts the status quo, or is overly meticulous and cautious, or fears making mistakes.
What about you? What fires you up?
What wrongs do you regularly work to right?
When have you felt most in your flow state*?
Part of flow state is the freedom and peace that comes from orienting from your personal integrity as you take on the work challenge in front of you.
As a coach, I have several exercises which can clarify your deeply held values. Guess what — sometimes they are so core, you may not be conscious of them. For example, I am a twin, so my desire for justice and fairness, which I recognized only recently, I imagine, must be derived from early memories of having a mirror image sister, who I competed and shared with.
If you are curious to learn more about yourself, here’s an easy exercise. The VIA Character Strengths Assessment. It’s a simple test which takes about 20 minutes, but it reveals what’s important to you. And the premise behind the assessment is simple: if we can identify what our character strengths are, we can choose work and organizations that allow us to leverage them every day, which in turn, gives us gratification we seek. Not pleasure, which is fleeting – but GRATIFICATION.
After taking the quiz, the next step is to do a side by side comparison of your results and the values your company lives and breathes. Is your organization aligned with your top 5 character strengths?
*flow: a state of mind in which a person becomes fully immersed in an activity.