I recently had a thought-provoking discussion with a potential employee. We were talking about personal values and how they affect work.
This potential employee had sat down and assessed his personal values. He spent the time trying to figure out what was important to him. For him, the most important thing is how his work supports his life. Having that understanding has allowed him to make decisions about work that align with his goals for his personal life.
Identifying your values
I think this kind of self-reflection is so important. It’s something we financial planners talk about a lot with clients. We are often encouraging our clients to identify their personal goals and values so they can make financial decisions that align with their priorities.
But I think it’s just as important to think about these things for ourselves as financial planners.
When we take the time to identify our personal values, we can make career decisions that support them. And when our values form the foundation for our work, we’re more likely to feel fulfilled and confident in our jobs.
Applying your values to work
I have several personal values that guide my career:
- Meaningful work
I have these values posted on my computer screen, so I see them all the time. And I’ve allowed these values to guide my career.
Financial planning is so important to me, and I love that it gives me a chance to truly support my clients and other planners. I feel so honored that I’m able to help people learn how to make financial decisions that honor their values and enable them to reach their goals.
Another one of my personal values is creativity. For me, that means that I choose projects that allow me to be creative and pass on those that don’t. The work I’ve done with FPA has required a lot of creativity, so it’s something that I’ve found very personally fulfilling.
It’s essential to me to have time with my family. Now that I have two children, I need more flexibility in my schedule to make sure I can be there when they need me. I’ve adapted my workflow to give myself more time with my family, and doing so has improved my life. It’s also helped me offer better support to my clients as they made decisions around their families’ needs.
Financial planning can have such a big impact in people’s lives. I like knowing that I’m doing something that can really make my clients’ lives better.
Taking the leap to start my own firm has given me more freedom in my career and in my time away from work. I have more control over my schedule and the projects I choose to take on. I also feel like I can offer that freedom to my employees by supporting their requests for flexible work schedules and time off to spend with their families.
There’s always something new to learn in this profession, so I take advantage of every opportunity I have to learn from other financial planners. Projects like the FPA Externship allow me to be on the other side and share my knowledge.
Creating Amplified Planning was a project that checked the boxes for all of my values. Leading this community is so fulfilling because it’s meaningful, significant work that allows me to be creative. I have the chance to learn new things and pass on what I know, and to do it in a way that gives me time for my family and other pursuits.
Living your values every day
So, what are your values? If you’re not sure, the first step is taking some time to define them. Then you can figure out if your career aligns with those values. If it doesn’t, decide what you need to change to make sure your work reflects your priorities.
Defining personal values is often an intense experience. And sometimes it’s difficult to make career changes that support your values. But it’s 100% worth it.
What are your values? How do they guide your career decisions? Tell me in the comments!
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