How to change career

Identifying Your Values Will Help You Set Effective Goals for 2018

New Year is traditionally a time for reflection and goal setting.  I love the thought that a new year is like a new book, 12 new chapters and 365 blank pages, all waiting to be written.  How do you plan to fill yours? Are you thinking of how to change career?

If I can give you any advice, it’s to follow a process, as New Years resolutions are notorious for being things people create and give up on before January is even finished, never mind that they never put them into practice.

  • 25% of people abandon them after one week

  • 60% of people don’t make it past 6 months

This is largely because;

  • you are setting the wrong goals for you,
  • your goals aren’t clear enough,
  • or you don’t have the strategies to move from dream to action.

Setting goals that you’ll achieve

There’s a process to getting this right, and it starts with knowing what’s important to you (your values), and then you can understand what your goals are (your vision), then turning this vision into a strategy to make it happen. Over the month of January I will be posting blogs and tips to support you through this process.  It’s something you can do alone, though works best if someone can work with you, and of course a coach is going to be the best support.

You might want to start by checking out these 2 blog posts that will help you lay the foundations for success and examine how to change your career:

Review Your 2017

Success starts with your habits 

So, what are your values?

If you’re not happy with the way things are, it’s likely your work is at odds with your values.  I’m regularly coaching women who have become desperately unhappy at work but are unclear how to change career, and this is at the heart of it.  A good place to start is by asking yourself ‘what’s important to me now [about work/ about my relationships/ about my life]?’  This is how you start to understand your values – the things that you believe are important in the way you live and work. Your values should determine your priorities, and in some way provide a measure of whether your life is turning out as you intended it to.

I regularly assess my values, as whilst they don’t necessarily change that often, the priority order does.  Say for instance, your partner has been made redundant, then financial security is likely to move to the top.

As I’ve coached more and more women this year who want to know how to change career, I have started to notice a value shift around meaning in their work.  Their definition of success changes, and they feel if they are to invest so much time in their work, then it has to be worth it, and mean something more than financial gain.  It’s not surprising, as we women juggle so many priorities, that this should become increasingly important with age.

Here’s what’s important to me right now:

  • Financial security (yes my husband was just made redundant 3 weeks before Christmas)
  • Making a difference – work which has a positive impact on others’ lives to help them be their best
  • Time with my family
  • To be a positive role-model to my daughters in what I do
  • To promote equality

Pinning Down Your Values

It may take a while to pin down exactly what your values are, the important thing is to become conscious of what feels right, what drives you.  A helpful starting point can be to take time to think about times when you were at your:

? Happiest – what were you doing, who were you with, what contributed to that feeling of happiness?

? Most proud – what made you feel proud, who shared in this, what else contributed?

? Most satisfied or fulfilled – what lead to those feelings?

If you’re stuck, here’s a list of values to help you – you don’t need to use or stick to this list (it is by no means exhaustive), but it may help give you some ideas.

? Authenticity ? Achievement ? Adventure ? Authority
? Autonomy ? Balance ? Beauty ? Boldness
? Compassion ? Challenge ? Citizenship ? Community
? Competency ? Contribution ? Creativity ? Curiosity
? Determination ? Equality ? Fairness ? Fame
? Family ? Friendships ? Fun ? Growth
? Happiness ? Honesty ? Humour ? Influence
? Impact ? Inner Harmony ? Justice ? Kindness
? Knowledge ? Leadership ? Learning ? Love
? Loyalty ? Meaningful Work ? Openness ? Optimism
? Peace ? Pleasure ? Popularity ? Recognition
? Reputation ? Respect ? Responsibility ? Security
? Self-Respect ? Service ? Spirituality ? Stability
? Success ? Status ? Trustworthiness ? Wealth
? Wisdom

The words above are to spark your thinking.  Take them and ask, ‘what does that mean to me?’, ‘how important is that to me?’

Values are a personal part of you, and the language you use is extremely important.  We have an emotional tie to the words we use. SO USE YOUR OWN WORDS, not what you think the right words might be for others.  How do you know if it’s a value?  Ask yourself ‘how will I feel if this isn’t there?’, if you feel you couldn’t work in that role etc. then this is a value for you.

Identify your Core Values – How to change career successfully

When you feel you have identified your list, you want to narrow it down to 3-5. These represent your core values.  These are the things we NEED, are non-negotiable, that we cannot do without. These core values, when you get them right, help inform your decision-making of whether something is right for you.  I’ve found that they have been crucial in helping me make choices about the work I do so that I can understand what’s right for me.  My simple test is if 3 out of the 5 are there, then it’s an indicator it’s right for me.  All 5 and it’s a no-brainer!


If you want to take your goal setting to the next level, get tips on how to change career or achieve a real Career Breakthrough in 2018, then why not get in contact at


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