Back to Back Issues Page
What Do You Really Want At Work? The 5 Minute Career Coach July 2011 Update
July 15, 2011

Helping Career Changers Around The World

July 2011 Update


What do you really want from your working life?

Do you ever get the feeling that you really don't like the way your company operates?

And when there is a big celebration about some success story for the business, do you just feel 'so what?'

Or do you look around at your colleagues and think 'We are just not on the same wavelength'?

I can remember many years ago, when I was working in retail, watching colleagues get really excited that the takings at the end of the week were x% higher than the same week last year and wondering what the big deal was. The whole profit motive really just did not do it for me.

So having realised that I was not interested in profit, it of course begged the question – what did inspire me at work?

This set me off down the line of defining what I wanted to get from my working life. What did I want it to be about?

This was one of the main drivers for my first career change.

So what do you want your working life to be about? What are the things that are important to you?

There are different ways you can approach this question and perhaps the simplest is to scan a list of core values which you may want to honour in your working life.

Your work values

Here are a few examples:

Status: a job that has high perceived standing

Security: a job where the risk of losing it is low

Collaboration: a job where you can work together with others

Autonomy: a job where you can work with little or no supervision

Helping Others: a job where you are able to assist individuals or groups

Money: a job where the pay is good and allows you to have material possessions

Contribution: a job where you feel you are helping society

There are many more and you will find a list on the How To Change Careers website.

On the other hand, you may not be a lists person so you can get at your values in a different way. Try this for size:

Your message to the world

If you were given a 15 minute prime time TV slot together with all the resources you need to make the programme (including hiring your favourite presenter if you don't wish to present yourself), what message would you want to share?

What does this say about what really matters to you?

You will find a few more similar exercises on the How To Change Careers website.

How does your current job match up?

So how far does your current job allow you to express the values and priorities you have identified above?

How would it feel if your work was really aligned with those values? How would you feel about going to work each day?

A mismatch in values is one of the most common causes of unhappiness and frustration at work. Without exploring your values, it can be quite hard to pin down why you feel dissatisfied. So take time to explore the exercises above and on the How To Change Careers website because they could provide you with just the pointer you need towards finding a new career that will give you real satisfaction.

With best wishes

Your Subscription Information

Back to Back Issues Page