If you are thinking of leaning in into your career then the focus doesn’t start on your career. It starts within yourself, knowing who you are then what you want to go after professionally. It comes down to knowing what your values are and then basing your priorities on them.
What are values
Values are things that are important to you. They are what you use to live your life by. They are things that you don’t want to give up on.
Your values are a showcase of who you are.
How to define them
Values can be a list of singular words. You can have them for your personal life as well as your professional career.
So what things in your life are important? If you struggle to make a list think of a time that someone drove you bonkers or questioned your intentions. What did they do to you? Did they question your competency? Then competency is a value of yours. Did they take away your power? The power is a value of yours. Did you get cheated out of promotion? Perhaps recognition or hard work is a value of yours.
If you struggle with putting your values into words there are many websites out there that you can look through to choose a few words such as mindtools.com. You can even try putting a few words in thesaurus and see if other words appear that appeal to you.
Why defining values helps Working Moms
Knowing your values makes others aware of what’s important to you.
When people understand you better they know where you stand. They’ll know that if they put you into a position that goes against one of your values that you are going to be one upset mama!
Knowing your values makes life/work balance problem solving easier. The more you know about your values the better equipped you are to make the right decision that feels good to you.
You can make up your mind quicker when your values are known. Think of your values as a guideline or cheat sheet you can use to live your life by.
You do less hemming and hawing when you know what your values are because they are already defined. It’s not something that you have to figure out. There’s no long pros and cons list because you know what’s important to you. This is a huge time and energy saver.
For example, let's say a work event is announced for the same day your child's end of year concert is. What are your values? Is your family value stronger than your career? When you ask yourself this question it's makes the decision more black and white and less emotional. A BIG time saver.
Knowing your values gives you more energy because you spend less time trying to figure out and just living according to your values. It takes some of the drama out of decision making.
Knowing your values gives you the courage to stick up for yourself. You can articulate your needs better to get your point across and sets boundaries. This helps you continue living your life according to your values.
Knowing your values makes it easier to say no to others and yes to you. It makes saying no easier because your values are clear in your mind, you can easily speak to them.
When you’re confident you can speak your mind and it’s easier for people to grasp and understand your intent. There may be less questions, and less of a fight because there’s no wiggle room around your values. Your mind is set. It makes life easier when know where you stand in life.
A word of caution: It can be challenging to live according to your values. But that’s what makes life interesting. When you are able to articulate what your values you will have more confidence in yourself. Look at your values as ammunition to stick to your truth so that when the going gets tough you get tougher.