What matters to you about work?
This section helps you identify your interests, priorities and values so that you can approach finding work with self knowledge and confidence.
Values and Priorities
Values are an important part of career exploration, partially because they relate to motivation. If you find work that meets your values you are likely to feel more motivated, to put in your best effort and may therefore be more successful in your work.
Students of English are renowned for being independent thinkers and having a strong sense of their own values and those of others. This is to be celebrated. Your values, ideally, are the roots from which you can nurture your ideas for future work. To prepare for the major life change of moving from higher education to work, you can assess yourself by reflecting on what matters to you, especially when it comes to work. Your priorities are likely to be centred on your values, skills, knowledge and a sense of purpose which, when you are ready, can be mapped on to the possibilities that can be found in particular careers and organisations.
Identifying your priorities can be done by thinking through questions such as:
- What do I really enjoy doing? What are my interests and passions?
- What am I good at doing?
- What makes me unique?
- What have a learned about myself through past experiences?
- What's important to me? Is it:
- Matching my values and ethics with those of a prospective employer
- Having the opportunity to keep learning throughout life
- Being creative or thinking independently
- Working alone or in a small or large group
- Gaining respect and status
- Progressing my career
- What practical things do you want and need in life? These might include:
- Particular patterns of work
- A particular location
- A certain physical environment (office,studio, outdoors....)
- Travel (a lot or very little!)
- A certain level of income
To help you identify what matters...
An activity you may find helpful in finding out more about your own sense of values and their importance to you, is this Values assessment exercise. The Prospects Planner is a job exploration tool which aims to help you identify your skills, motivations and interests and then to match yourself to relevant job types.
Try out this Lifeline exercise which can help you to value yourself , be more confident and self aware when making major decisions. It can help you to reflect on formative influences, people and events - a useful exercise when preparing a CV.