Here’s the thing…. Your career values are the principles and beliefs that are most important to you in your professional life. 

Career values might include things like autonomy, creativity, financial stability, work-life balance, social impact, or personal growth. 

When you truly understand your values, they will act as your driving force and navigation in your career. With your career values front of mind, you’ll identify opportunities that align with your goals and priorities, and to make choices that support your long-term career success and happiness. Who doesn’t want that!? 

Knowing your career values, criteria or your non-negotiables is important because it can help you make informed decisions about your career path and find greater fulfilment and satisfaction in your work.

Do you highly value creativity and innovation? If so, you might seek out a career in an organisation that allows you to express your ideas and contribute to the development of new products or services. 

If you value work-life balance, you might prioritise jobs that offer **truly** flexible schedules or **actual** remote work options.

Do your career values change over time? 

Of course they can. 

For me, over the lifetime of my career, my career criteria have absolutely shifted. 

Had you asked me what the most important things were to me when I was first starting out in my career, I am convinced I would have said something like “the money”, “the most senior job title”, “the biggest Company” or the “highest level” I could get to.  

I think about my career now and where I am at, and although things like being paid your worth are still absolutely important; things like job titles and status really don’t mean that much to me. 

Instead, my non-negotiables these days are more around the impact I am able to have. The contribution I feel I can make, and the kind of people that I will be working or collaborating with. These items inform my career decision-making to its core. 

How do you know what your career non-negotiables are? 

When it comes to our career criteria, or our non-negotiables… there is NO right or wrong answer. 

Career non-negotiables individual and are whatever feels right for YOU. 

If you don’t know what your non-negotiables are, you’re not alone. This is something I often discover with my coaching clients. It just isn’t something they’ve ever intentionally considered before, let alone been deliberate about proactively pursue as part of their career progression strategy. Defining what’s essential is often one of the first steps of my career coaching process with my clients. 

What happens if you don’t know your career non-negotiables?  

Not having a clear vision for what your definition of career success is, is like building a house without a building plan. You grab items that look like they might work, without any real strategy of how things all need to come together backed with a strong foundation. 

Without a map; we fly blind. We leave ourselves open to the influence tactics of others based on who has the best sell, versus being true to ourselves and listening to what is really important to us. 

If you don’t get super clear on what success actually looks like to you, and then how will you do the research to bring that vision of success to life. 

Here’s a scenario I often see… 

An individual feels unmotivated, stuck, or disenchanted by their current job role. 

They start scrolling LinkedIn, Seek, and any other job boards they can find, looking for something ‘better’ than what they have now. 

An engaging, well written ad, or some bolded, dot-pointed job perks scream out at them, and they progress to interview for a new role in a new company with the promise of a better salary, benefits, flexibility or any number of other things. 

The individual accepts the new role and starts with the new Company with stars in their eyes **claps and celebrations everywhere **. 

Six months later the shine wears off, and they feel stuck, unmotivated and frustrated again because this new job role hasn’t met their expectations or solved their deeper feelings of frustration. 

Does this sound familiar to you? 

There is a better way, my friend. 

It’s time to define your career values, start making intentional choices about your professional life, and build that fulfilling and rewarding career you absolutely deserve!