At a time when the world is facing multiple challenges, our values and our will to take action are more precious than ever.
Empathy, honesty, commitment… We all have core values. They partly define who we are and help us to making decisions. We have different ideas, different ways of looking at the world and different ways of relating to things. These represent our foundations, the ones we should build our lives around. Unfortunately, our values are sometimes crushed or pushed aside when entering the professional world.
We have been told for years that the job market is ruthless, difficult to navigate and extremely competitive. I have also heard that companies (and recruiters in general) are looking for very specific profiles and that it is better to just “fit in”. The stress generated by this reasoning may force some of us to adopt strategies to hide who we really are or we want to be. Like products waiting on a shelf to be picked by a client before their expiration date, some people decide to rebrand themselves, to redefine who they are in order to be liked by recruiters. Is that the smartest move?
THE IMPORTANCE OF FINDING A JOB THAT MATCHES YOUR VALUES
When our ideas and values are pushed to the background of our minds, we still have our skill set, meaning our hard and soft skills. Recruiters are ultimately looking for candidates that tick a series of boxes to match the company’s needs. Candidates that are selected for interviews or hired, may consider themselves lucky even if they had to pretend a bit to seem like the right profile. However, in the end, this strategy will prove itself useless for both sides.
Ideas and values are part of one’s strenghts. They bring diversity to organisations, they are vectors of fulfillment, they can help us to find meaning in our jobs, and above all, they are vital to build our future, individually but also collectively.
Leaving them aside for too long can lead to a significant loss of meaning in our job (brown out) and extreme boredom (bore out). Many young graduates or well-established executives report that their professional life is completely out of sync with their values and aspirations. The Facebook group “Neurchi de flexibilisation du marché du travail – NdFlex” is a plain example of this problem. Your values and ideas are your compass in life and you should be able to rely on them at all times.
PERSONAL VALUES AT THE SERVICE OF THE FUTURE
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has recently published several alarming reports stating that we cannot collectively continue to live, produce and consume as we do today without risking the future of a large part of human kind. At the same time, inequalities are increasing every year in France, the exploitation of people in the mines or the “factories of the world” is not weakening, and biodiversity is dangerously decreasing.
Much of this is due to our economic model and the activity of a large number of companies that take advantage of it. A reality that makes no sense to many of us, and that is very far from our ideals. A major change of software is absolutely necessary to guarantee a sustainable future. Your ideas and values are powerful levers to provoke change, to contribute to a better future for everybody. ****They will allow you to position yourself in useful projects and they will give you strength and joy if you succeed.
IS BEING ALIGNED WITH YOUR COMPANY’S VALUES THE KEY TO PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENT?
Your ideas and values are essential to your personal development, but also to our collective future. When you send applications, take a close look at the activities of the organisation you are applying to (companies, associations, NGOs contributions, public service, etc.). Learn all you can about your future employer to see if it’s vision of the world matches yours, if your values are compatible, if they are part of the problem or the solution. Then, consider the vibes you get from your future managers during the interview to confirm if they share some of your values too. Bring your ideas, your values and your strengths to your future projects to participate in the necessary changes in our society.
If you have to give your time to a structure that is not in perfect adequacy with your vision, know why you accept to go there: to learn and accumulate knowledge that will serve you later on and maybe, who knows, pass on your ideas and provoke a positive change. In the meantime, rely on other personal projects, such as volunteering, to feed your aspirations. And above all, always remember who you are!