Finding a suitable job that matches your values and strengths

I couple of years ago, I felt pretty desperate because I just could not find a job. That’s when my italian friend said: “Nicole, it’s not only about you finding a job, but also about the right job finding you!”. I actually dismissed that comment as confused psycho-babble and continued my hard-core search.

But when I finally found my job, I realized how right my italian friend had been. Let me explain why:

I was perfect for the job and the job was perfect for me. The company philosophy and my own philosophy were very much in line, it was a great place to work – a place where I could truely develop my full potential. And so I did. I’m not sure whether I would ever have gotten so far in another company. All of a sudden, I could also see why I had been so unsuccessful in my previous interviews: because I just did not fit in! But I DID fit in here. It was wonderful!

So what does that mean for YOUR job search?

  1. Do you know what your own values are?
  2. Are you looking for a job that is in line with your values?
  3. Do you know what your strengths are?
  4. Are you looking for a job that is in line with your strenghts?

If you are a money and power-driven person (nothing wrong with that) applying for charity jobs might be a waste of time for you… even if all your friends work for charities and your boyfriend thinks that that’s very attractive. Remember: it’s all about you.

Below, you’ll find two free tools to find out what your values and strengths are. These tools are real eye-openers. Believe me, from my experience as a coach this is time well spent! By using these tools you can get to know yourself, your values and your strengths better. You will know what jobs to look for in the future and which jobs you are not suitable for (even though your parents might wish that you were suitable).

Tool no. 1: Value finder

Task 1: Have a look at the words listed below and circle those ten that are most important to you in your own life.

Money — Fulfillment — Family — Peace — Order — Stability — Family — Wealth — Health — Fame — Security — Arts — Spirituality — Wisdom — Independence — Creativity — Inspiration — Harmony — Culture — Spirituality — Generosity — Reliability — Resilience — Responsibility — Service — Environment — Competitiveness — Strength — Reason — Loyalty — Empathy — Justice — Integrity — Industriousness — Encouragement — Flexibility — Helpfulness — Humour — Honour — Sustainability — Modesty — Logic — Inventiveness — Knowledge — Personal Development — Achievement — Power — Pleasure — Advancement — Respect — Freedom — Recognition — Integrity — Adventure — Honesty — Variety — Honesty — Diversity — Co-operation — Friendship — Beauty — Balance — Equality — Focus — Caring — Confidence — Determination — Lightness — Individualism — Hospitality — Perseverance

Task 2: Are there any words that come to mind that you’d like to add?

Task 3: Have a look at the words you circled: are there any themes emerging? Write down the 5 values that are most important to you in your life (you might want to group some of the words together).

Task 4: Double-check: do these values really describe what you stand for, what you believe and who you are (rather than what you think you SHOULD be like)

Task 5: Write down what each of these 5 values mean to you. Key words are ok. (Believe me: writing down and def ining what these values really mean to you makes this tool more effective)

Task 6: Discuss your 5 values with an impartial friend  or a coach (yes, discussing this with someone else will make this even more effective) and ask for their feedback: are there any patterns emerging for them?

Task 7: Write your values down on a piece of paper and pin them up somewhere where you can see them when you are next looking for a job.

Tool no. 2: Strengths Finder

The VIA Signature Strengths Questionnaire is a tool that was developed by a reknown researcher called Martin Seligman. No psycho-babble, I promise. Martin Seligman is one of the most quoted psychologists and became known for his theory of “Learnt Helplessness”. He has spent the last decade developing a new branch in psychology (Positive Psychology) that focuses on wellbeing rather than illness. Pretty inspiring, I think.

The Via Survey of Character Strengths on his website is completely free of charge and you won’t be bothered by weekly newsletters or attempts to sell you something later on. It’s a truely great tool that can help you understand and harness your strengths (rather than trying to improve your weaknesses). Filling in this questionnaire takes quite a while (anything between 30 and 90 min)… so do it when you feel you have enough time to complete it.

If you’d like to discuss the results you got from these tools and find out how I can help you find  a job that really suits you, feel free to ring me for a trial session.

Return to Free Advice for Job Seekers.

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