It’s no secret that people are making big changes when it comes to their careers. It is clear, that we are in a job seeker’s market and flocks of people continue to head to higher ground where they are craving the opportunity to have their values reflected in their workplace culture. But how many actually know how to do that vs thinking it’s a nice idea to have? Interview
We are in a new era of the American workplace and the future is indeed bright. Many norms are changing for the better. Before you decide to leave for the proverbial “greener pasture” see if your current culture is in the midst of change and If you’re in the market for a new career, remember that you have just as much power as the workplace you’re interviewing with. Interview
So if you’re leaving an environment that’s a violation of your values, how are you being intentional about ensuring they’re activated in your next role? IBM research found that 80% of employees felt more engaged when their work was consistent with the core values of their organization. Why isn’t it normal for us to interview and choose jobs based on those very values? Interview
Where to start?
- Begin by making a list of all the things in your current role that drain you of your energy and all the things that fill you up. Notice what trends exist.
- Are the drains or fills around a certain area or tasks like managing people or big picture planning? Take the time to decide what you absolutely need and what you absolutely cannot have again. Ask yourself, how do these trends connect to my values?
- The things that energize you are a reflection of your values and that suck the energy out of you are a disconnect, or at worst, a violation of your values. For example, if you love managing people, what aspects of that make you come alive? Is it the value of connection, collaboration, community, or leadership? You get to notice and name what intrinsically motivates you! And on the other hand, if you dislike big picture planning perhaps that’s because you are not intrinsically motivated by values like innovation, organization, planning, or influence.
- What’s key is to know that whatever is true for you is exactly what it’s meant to be. It’s not “right” or “wrong” to choose one value over another.
Once you’ve gone through this process, nail down your 3-5 top core values and the correlating activities that you must have or not have in order to feel a sense of alignment in your new role. Then get ready to develop your super-charged, values-aligned interview questions.
One of the most obvious but often overlooked ways to assure alignment between your values and the potential new role is to incorporate core values into the interview process. Many times people believe that it’s enough to simply share their values and ask others what they think of them. What company is going to say that they don’t agree with your values? Well, perhaps some (either the most aligned or the most unaligned), but most are looking to make a good impression.
Instead of throwing softballs with the hopes to get an easy catch, try this framework to ask these 5 power questions to understand whether or not this will be a good fit, subbing in your own values where relevant: Interview
- My values are x, y, and z. I’ve learned that I need these to be activated regularly in order to feel a sense of purpose in my work. Given that, I’d love to know how you relate to these values personally and here at work?
- Where have these values been activated at work here?
- When have you experienced stumbling blocks with these values?
- Tell me a story about a time when one of these values drove the team. What were the circumstances, and what was the outcome?
- I know that I am not successful in these types of situations (share values-disconnect related examples from your drain list) and I’m extremely successful in these (share values-aligned related examples from your fill list). Given that, where might I be in or out of alignment with these job responsibilities?
The more you can use values as an opening conversation to get to understand the lens of the prospective new supervisor and company culture at large, the better. There isn’t a right or wrong response, but you’ll get a good idea of whether the person interviewing you authentically connects with those concepts or whether they’re forcing the answer. Interview
Listen with your ears, mind, and heart when tapping into what’s possible. And remember a job interview is the first step in determining what you want the future 40+ hours of your life to look, feel and be like each week. So get clear on your values and be intentional about using them as a tool for your experience and well-being at work.
About MaryBeth Hyland
Author, speaker, and award-winning company culture expert MARYBETH HYLAND found her passion as a facilitator and mindfulness coach, engaging with leaders within all industries to create possibility and ignite alignment between their values and their actions. MaryBeth is the founder and chief visionary of SparkVision and her awards include Circle of Excellence, Innovator of the Year, and Top 100 Women. With a BA in Social Work, MS in Nonprofit Management, and over a decade of experience transforming workplace cultures into flourishing and connected communities, she is committed to values-based mindfulness in the workplace. The Washington Post, HuffPost, Forbes, and The Wall Street Journal have recognized her as a powerful thought leader in workplace culture.
By MaryBeth Hyland