How to Use Your Values to make Tough Career Decisions

What’s your process for making tough decisions?

The past few months have brought up previously-unfathomable decisions for all of us. As a job-seeker, there’s one big, hairy (and emotionally charged) decision I’ll need to make pretty soon — what job to take next.

After making a pro/con list, phoning a friend, and having a good cry, I tried something else.


I went back to my values.

I’d pin-pointed my personal values years ago while designing a workshop for interns at NBCUniversal, and I’ve refined them over the years. So it was easy for me to grab a sheet of paper, list my top 7 values in one column, and make two more columns with my options.

I rated both options on how well they’d honor my values, on a scale of 1-5 (1 being just barely, 5 being living that value regularly).

As you can see, Option 1 honors my values much more than Option 2.


So, it’s a done deal- I’ve made my decision and there’s no going back now! Right?

Of course not! This isn’t the end of my decision-making process (oy!), but it’s given me a fresh perspective that’s rooted in the factors that are most important to me. I feel more equipped to make this decision- and to remind myself WHY I made it in those inevitable future moments of doubt.


What’s your process for making the hairy, scary choices you’re facing right now?


About the Author

Janel is a recent graduate of NYU and currently serves the NBCUniversal intern population a catalyst for early career development. You can find her talking about all things work on Twitter @janelabrahami and LinkedIn.

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