See How Your Personal Values Impact
Your Job Satisfaction and Success Newsletter
(Issue 2012-6 November 2012)

Do you know what your "Personal Career Values" are?

Do you know how your values can impact your success and your job satisfaction?

Do you know that if you were ever unhappy with your job it was probably due to your values?

One of the keys to having and holding on to a great job, is knowing what your values are and whether they are in-line with: the type of work you do; the place you work at; and the people you work with.

If your personal values are out of sync with your job, then you could end up hating your job and not being as successful as you want.

Here are 2 true stories that demonstrate the impact of values on careers:

A True Story

A young lady, about 36, called me the other day for some career counseling advice. The first thing she said was that her career was stuck and she couldn't see a way to make progress.

Her main issue was that she wanted to make a lot more money. Her current salary was $39,000. She had a masters degree and worked for the government, and had been there several years.

This was a very stable, low risk government job.

She had a personal career value that was telling her she needed to be making a lot more money. Like $100,000 or more. She was feeling really bad about not having a huge 6 figure pay check. And she could not figure out what to do about it.

This feeling of being stuck had been going on a few years, before she finally reached a point where she decided to ask for some help.

After talking for a few minutes, we discovered she had an entirely different set of values that were much more important to her than making a lot more money.

She had a very strong need for stability and security. She did not like taking risks. She also wanted to continue to live near her family so she was not willing to relocate to where there were higher paying jobs.

She really didn't want to take a job in the private sector where she might have to work 10 to 12 hours a day only to get laid off if the company hit hard times.

Usually jobs with bigger salaries have less stability and involve more risk.

So you can see the conflict in her career values that was driving her crazy. She wanted to make a lot more money, but her highest priority values said she should always have a very stable job and avoid risks.

Once we discovered what her highest priority values were, the light bulb went on for her. She understood the conflict and why she was making herself so miserable.

That doesn't mean we gave up on her making more money. We came up with a plan where she could keep her steady, dependable day job, but start to do something new, on the side, with all her spare time. Something that would eventually bring in additional money.

The fact is, many people never have the opportunity to look closely at their values, much less prioritize them and take action on the most important ones. But it does not have to be that way.

Another True Story

I have a friend who has been quite successful, but for the last few years he has been very miserable in his job. He has come close to quitting several times. He loves the work that he does. But he hates certain things about the company he now works for.

My friend has values that he picked up from other companies along the way.

One value he has is a need to be efficient, to eliminate waste and to do things as fast as possible. This is because he works in a very competitive industry where you have to be fast to beat the competition. He worked for companies that prided themselves on devising innovative ways to speed up everything they did, thus becoming more competitive and more successful.

But in his current company, they show no interest for such innovation, even though they have not had a hit product for years and even though many of their products arrive in the market too late. They have a bureaucratic management structure which takes forever to make decisions and is not interested in innovating how they do things to become more competitive.

Another value my friend picked up at previous employers was the need to make great products that were high quality and very reliable. Again, due to the competition.

The current company's product development process is from another century. It's slow, cumbersome and frequently turns out products that have to be re-designed because the first design was done so poorly. Every time a product has to be re-designed, it wastes employees time and energy. This frustrates my friend.

The company also forces everyone to write weekly reports. Since my friend had worked for several companies that did not require engineers to write weekly reports, he sees this as a waste of time.

So you can see that the values of my friend are in conflict with the values of the company he now works at. What do you think will happen?

What Are Values Anyway?

Values are strongly held beliefs that you might not know you even have. Some values you pick up from child hood. Others you pick up along the way.

Values guide you through your life, whether you are aware of them or not. Values affect your decision making including the big life decisions. Values affect your behavior. Values affect your overall happiness.

For most people, values are mostly unconscious, unless one takes the time to look at them.

Discovering Your Values Is Not Taught In School

Most people have never had to identify their values. It's not something we are taught in school.

But if you want a great career, a satisfying career, and you want to be at peace with yourself, it is worth a few minutes to find out what your values are.

How To Identify Your Values in 5 to 10 Minutes

Recently we finished development of a new, online tool that will help you see what your values are.

It's called the Knowdell Career Values Card Sort (online version).

The original, physical version, consists of an actual deck of 52 cards and was created by Richard Knowdell over 35 years ago. Career coaches around the world have been trained by Dick in the use of these cards. Just in the past few months Dick has trained career coaches in Korea, Shanghai, Beijing, California, Michigan, Virginia, and US Military Bases where they are coaching returning vets. Now, in partnership with Dick, we offer you the online version.

(In our July newsletter we introduced the online version of his card sort for discovering your transferable / motivated skills which you can use on your resume / CV and to plan a career change.)

These card sorts are much like playing a game of solitaire on your computer. You get a virtual deck of cards which you move around the screen. Very quickly your most important values become clear to you.

Then you print out a worksheet with all your results, and we show you how to look at your job and other job opportunities to see how they stack up to your values. It's fun, simple, and easy to do.

What Will The Career Values Card Sort Do For You?

The Career Values Card Sort will:

  • Help you become more aware of your most important values and priorities in life
  • Show you how to objectively compare career choices based on your values
  • Get clarity on what is really important to you
  • Help you understand why some things at work just bother you so much
  • Give you ideas for tweaking or improving your career

Available To Both Individuals and Career Coaches

The online version of the Career Values Card Sort is available to both individuals and career coaches.

The regular price for the online Career Values Card Sort is just $12, but from now to November 22, 2012 (Thanksgiving Holiday in the USA) you can have this easy to use tool for just $9.

Use discount code: "ValuesIntro"

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Well, that's it for now.

I hope you try the Knowdell Career Values Card Sort. I think you'll enjoy it and get a lot out of it. Send me an email to let me know what you think.

As always if you have any questions, comments or ideas please feel free to send me an email at

To your success,

Michael T. Robinson
Chief Career Coach Inc