CAREER, BUSINESS

Core Values for Work & Life

Let’s face it. Without a clear definition of what your core values are, you’ll continue to search for meaning in all the wrong places.

Author: Gabrielle Lopez | August 22, 2022

What Are Your Core Values?

Your core values are the guiding principles of your life that help you determine who you want to be and who you want to surround yourself with, both personally and professionally. 

Many of the women I work with experience job dissatisfaction and burn out for two main reasons:

  1. They work for a company that doesn’t fit their skills and/or interests. 
  2. The company’s core values don’t match their own. 

Many times, we go from job to job without ever asking ourselves if this job or company is actually right for us. Instead, we quickly find ourselves chasing the paycheck and ignoring our values along the way. 

So, let’s make sure you don’t make the same mistakes by determining what your core values are and how you can apply them to your personal and professional relationships. 

Your values are the things that you believe are important. Think of your best friend. More likely than not, I’m going to assume you both share similar values. As a result, you love spending time together. Imagine someone in your life that you don’t get along with. Maybe this is a co-worker, family member or neighbor. This is an individual that doesn’t share the same values as you in a few ways or many ways. 

This is why making a conscious effort to identify your values is so important. 

How to Choose Your Values

Values exist, whether you recognize them or not. 

If you find yourself struggling at work, difficulty creating boundaries or tired of compromising – you probably haven’t made a clear list of what your Core Values are. Life can be much easier when you acknowledge and embrace your values – especially when you make plans and decisions that honor them.

Here are some situations in which understanding your values can really help:

  • Searching for a new job or new career
  • Deciding what type of company you want to work for
  • Starting a new relationship or friendship
  • Creating clear boundaries and expectations at work or at home
  • Evaluating a new opportunity or request

Remember: the clearer you are, the easier it will be to make decisions and say “no” to opportunities that will not serve you in the long run. This might seem scary at first, but with practice, it becomes easier every time. Very soon, instead of saying yes to everything because you hate disappointing people, you will find yourself saying a polite “no”.

What does a polite “no” look like in real life?

  • (When another business wants you to collaborate with them) “Thank you for thinking of me for your upcoming event and wanting me to collaborate with you. However, at this time your event doesn’t align with my quarterly goals so I’ll have to say no. If in the future my calendar opens up, you’ll be the first to know.” 
  • (To a friend) “I wish I could make it to your party tomorrow but I have to prioritize time with my family and Friday’s are pizza night. Thank you for the invite!”
  • (To a manager asking you to do more than what your job is) “I understand you’d like me to take over the social media account, however, this far exceeds my responsibilities as a customer service rep. If you’d like to discuss my role in further detail or talk about compensation for this new role, let’s schedule a meeting.” 

 

See, saying no isn’t hard. You just have to be confident enough to stand your ground and stay true to your values no matter what. 

Determine your top values, based on your experiences of happiness, pride, and fulfillment.

When picking which values are most important to you. Here are some examples to get you thinking. Aim for 10 top values and you may find that as you pick some may be similar in nature (For instance, if you value philanthropy, community, and generosity, you might say that service to others is one of your top values.)

Accountability
Accuracy
Achievement
Adventurousness
Altruism
Ambition
Assertiveness
Balance
Being the best
Belonging
Boldness
Calmness
Carefulness
Challenge
Cheerfulness
Clear-mindedness
Commitment
Community
Compassion
Competitiveness
Consistency
Contentment
Continuous Improvement
Contribution
Control
Cooperation
Correctness
Courtesy
Creativity
Curiosity
Decisiveness
Democraticness
Dependability
Determination
Devoutness
Diligence
Discipline
Discretion
Diversity
Dynamism
Economy
Effectiveness
Efficiency
Elegance
Empathy
Enjoyment
Enthusiasm
Equality

Excellence
Excitement
Expertise
Exploration
Expressiveness
Fairness
Faith
Family-orientedness
Fidelity
Fitness
Fluency
Focus
Freedom
Fun
Generosity
Goodness
Grace
Growth
Happiness
Hard Work
Health
Helping Society
Holiness
Honesty
Honor
Humility
Independence
Ingenuity
Inner Harmony
Inquisitiveness
Insightfulness
Intelligence
Intellectual Status
Intuition
Joy
Justice
Leadership
Legacy
Love
Loyalty
Making a difference
Mastery
Merit
Obedience
Open-mindedness
Order
Originality
Patriotism

Perfection
Piety
Positivity
Practicality
Preparedness
Professionalism
Prudence
Quality-orientation
Reliability
Resourcefulness
Respect
Results-oriented
Rigor
Security
Self-actualization
Self-control
Selflessness
Self-reliance
Sensitivity
Serenity
Service
Shrewdness
Simplicity
Soundness
Speed
Spontaneity
Stability
Strategic
Strength
Structure
Success
Support
Teamwork
Temperance
Thankfulness
Thoroughness
Thoughtfulness
Timeliness
Tolerance
Traditionalism
Trustworthiness
Truth-seeking
Understanding
Uniqueness
Unity
Usefulness
Vision
Vitality

Don't let this list restrain you.
You've got plenty of options.

Just because I’ve listed out a bunch of words doesn’t mean they’ll all speak to you. So, here’s some more recommendations based on Personal and Company Core Values.

25 Personal Values for Behavior and Traits

  • adventurous
  • authenticity
  • commitment
  • compassion
  • concern for others
  • consistency
  • courage
  • dependability
  • enthusiasm
  • fearlessness
  • friendliness
  • good humor
  • honesty
  • honor
  • independence
  • integrity
  • kindness
  • loyalty
  • open-mindedness
  • optimism
  • perseverance
  • pragmatism
  • positivity
  • reliability
  • respect

25 Personal Values about Rights and Causes

  • altruism
  • animal rights
  • charity
  • civil disobedience
  • community development
  • education
  • environmentalism
  • equality
  • fitness
  • freedom
  • giving back
  • historic preservation
  • human rights
  • individual liberties
  • justice
  • nurturing the next generation
  • patriotism
  • philanthropy
  • respect for individuals
  • rule of law
  • social justice
  • stand up for the underdog
  • stewardship
  • support for the arts
  • tolerance

25 Core Company Values about Business Practices

  • accountability
  • adaptability
  • aggressive
  • attention to detail
  • clear communication
  • collaborative
  • competitive
  • continuous improvement
  • craftsmanship
  • diverse 
  • customer-focused
  • efficiency
  • ethical
  • excellence
  • expertise
  • fairness
  • flexibility
  • high performance
  • innovation
  • market leader
  • ownership
  • responsive
  • quality
  • service
  • transparency

25 Core Company Values about Company Culture

  • agility
  • approachable
  • belonging
  • creativity
  • diversity
  • empowering
  • entrepreneurial
  • family-oriented
  • fun
  • hard work
  • inclusion
  • individualistic
  • learning
  • meritocracy
  • modern
  • nimble
  • originality
  • passion
  • respect for boundaries
  • shared prosperity
  • social responsibility
  • sustainability
  • team-focused
  • traditional
  • work-life balance

Become a Value-Driven Professional

Now that you’ve made your list. STICK TO IT. These values are your guide when it comes to networking, hiring, job-hunting, asking for a promotion, dating, volunteering…(you name it!).

I don’t care what the situation is. When you stay committed to only working with people that follow your core values you will feel the difference immediately. You’ll feel supported, understood, heard, valued and, most of all, happy. 

This list isn’t for any one else to see, just you. So make it a list that brings you joy, confidence and clarity. In time, you will find yourself only working on the things that excite you. You’ll be able to set boundaries which will save you countless amounts of time, money and energy. 

You deserve a life with balance and meaning. Change only happens when you put in the effort and remain consistant – even when things get tough. 

What are you waiting for?! Go put your list on your fridge so it can be a daily reminder of what you want to manifest in the world around you. 

You’ve got this!
– Gabby Lopez

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I'm Gabby

Business & Career Expert, Mentor and Creative Entrepreneur

Instead of prescribing what I think you should do, I help you find what works for you. 

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