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Your first job is clarity

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Sometimes I look at Pinterest on my phone right before I go to sleep, even though I know it’s bad for me. I actually notice the drop in sleep quality when I do this, but I do it anyways.


Honestly? I care about sleep quality, but sometimes that feeling of idle time is so delicious that I choose it over sleep quality. I run a service business and parent two kids under four. Idle time is like an exotic treat to me. So occasionally Pinterest wins the day (night).

And I’m good with it. No phones before bed is a guideline for me, not a rule.

Last month I ran a workshop on values at work. I love this topic because when you’re clear on your values, decisions are simple. You identify the rules of the game – your game. And when you’re clear on your rules, all you have to do is play.

Just play. Without having to think so hard.

When you’re clear on your values, decisions are simple.

Let’s say you’re considering a job change. I often ask people about criteria for their new job – and often they have difficulty answering.

Getting your criteria written down is part of the clarity process. But understanding your values? That goes way deeper.

Criteria are what you’re choosing from the menu. Values are the restaurant you’re sitting in. Uncovering those values enables you to choose the right restaurant, by focusing on the right things for you during your job search process.

Here are a few ways to bring your values into your job search:

If autonomy is queen for you: focus on the management style of the person you’ll be reporting to.

If growth is queen for you: focus on the development opportunities, and who’s on board to champion you.

If moving up is queen for you: focus on how this opportunity will prepare you, and the level of visibility and support from leadership.

If owning your schedule is queen for you: focus on what your schedule will actually look like – on paper, AND in real life based on the people already working there. (hint: research this)

Here’s the critical part: they can’t all be queen. The values conversation is about uncovering what is important to you, putting those things in priority order, and letting go of whatever doesn’t make the cut.

Which can be painful. But once you’re clear – once your rules are in place – all you have to do is play.

Usually your behaviour carries clues. Like how I choose Pinterest over sleep quality sometimes. I crave that downtime – it matters to me. Or more apt for careers, like the time I chose to start a business because having impact, autonomy and creative license became more important to me than moving up in corporate.

What matters to you at work? What drives you absolutely out of your mind? These are your values in action.

Figure them out and you are figuring YOU out. This is the most interesting and powerful work you’ll ever do. Study yourself, uncover your values, use your actions to live by them, and you will surprise yourself with the joy and satisfaction you can create.

That’s why your first job is clarity.

Start now.

PS 🎉🎉🎉 BIG NEWS 🎉🎉🎉 I just finished creating a 4 week live group program called Career Clarity Method. I could not be more excited to share it. Learn more and join me here.

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