Find your values

How-to Feel Happiness at Work by Knowing Your Values

Is your Visual Communications job satisfying?

Does your job meet your needs and values? I have spent 30 years seeking job satisfaction. I’ve had many unnecessary heartaches. My value is to contribute and be a leader in my field. And a job that is smaller than those ambitions won’t meet my needs.

There are many opportunities for visual designers passionate about helping businesses communicate. A visual communicator must choose work that meets her needs and values; everyone benefits in the long run. We all have similar basic needs, but those most important to us become our values.

Once you understand your needs and values, you can plan your day and career around them. Women in the workplace need to maintain their worth and value. They are the only ones that can do this for themselves.

Work is valued by the social value of the worker.

Gloria Steinem

Write and rank your needs

Finding your values can be as simple as writing out all the words that describe what is important to you, then circling your top six and ranking those. There are many online resources with good words.

Needs are described in words like truth, peace, love, nonviolence, excitement, challenge, independence, creativity, self-direction, security, power, pleasure, achievement, conformity, and tradition. The most important of these needs is your values.

Values decks are a great tool 

A deck of cards to help identify your values
Finding your values, photo by the author, Jennifer K. Kouyoumjian

My favorite method of realizing my needs is a deck of value cards. Once you sort out all the cards you relate to, you then decrease the set to ten, then six, or even three. I have found that my top six needs are my values.

I got my values card deck from a corporate LGBT Affinity group conference. “Be authentic; be yourself” was the conference slogan. This company met my needs by treating employees as experts in their roles. After three traumatic layoffs, my needs grew to include respect and stability.

Values reveal your real role

If your values are around benevolence, sharing, service, and achievement, this likely points to a role with challenges that directly benefit people.

If self-determination, creativity, self-expressionism, inclusion, and influence are your values, you better make sure you have an influential and independent role in creating your ideas. These are my values, and I have taken work where my influence is too small because I was not always clear on my values.

When needs go unmet

Sometimes the people you interact with are not aligned with your values and needs. This could result in an ongoing painful situation. At times like this, it is good to review your needs and values. When you feel strong in your conviction, asking for your needs to be met is not difficult. Try to meet your needs yourself, on or off the job. Meeting your own needs will align you with your inner authority, and then your actions may transform your reality. For example, being helpful and influential and giving your highest self could eventually transform you into the literal people manager you want to be.

If you are interviewing for a job, remember to keep your values and needs top of mind.

Grow your career and happiness

The Authors Values

Write down your needs, values, and what you desire from work. Then write a mission statement on an index card. Base your mission on your values. Please keep your card in a place you can read it when you plan your day. This card reminds you to plan each day around your values so you can live a joyful, passionate life every day. Your set of values makes you uniquely awesome

What do you value? Please let me know.

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