Your Values

What behaviour characteristics are most important to you?

Values start points

Refer to the work you did in Worksheet 2 where you were cataloguing your strengths and achievements: what you are good at and what is important to you. The answers you gave there should help.

Look at the things you wrote down including where you overcame fear, reluctance, unhappiness, lack of confidence, lack of education or training etc to succeed. These will help you – for example if you have pushed yourself in lots of areas one of your Values might be ‘determination’, ‘perseverance’ or ‘never willingly admitting defeat’. If on the other hand you like to do things first and sail through most tasks, perhaps your Value is more about ‘striving for success’ or ‘determination’ etc. Whatever you have written in the earlier worksheet can be used in a positive way to help identify your set of Values.

You might also want to think about how you believe other people see you. Not just your friends but other people you have regular contact with such as advisers, employers, colleagues, teachers, others. How do you think they would describe you? What would they say were your good points? If you get stuck you can always ask them, although it’s a good idea to create a draft WhyMe? first, as that way you will have some thoughts to bounce off them.

Key questions to ask yourself:

  • What is important to me in terms of how I should live my life?
  • How do I behave in different circumstances eg. when times are tough?
  • What are my strong points?
  • How would people I know describe me? What would they say were my best aspects?

In defining your Values, you are trying to outline how you should behave in order to achieve your goals. Overall, your set of Values should be rounded, adding up to a motivating and balanced impression of what you are about. Whilst it is tempting when thinking of jobs only to focus on the harder, tougher values, this is unlikely to capture a complete picture of who you are, which is important because employers like to know that they are working with ‘real’ people.

Write a long list of Values that are important to you. To help you, we have given you a list of start points here but the list is not all encompassing, it is simply to give you ideas. If there’s something that you think better suits you then use that –it is always better to use your own words when you can.

Now cut your list down to the 5 or 6 that you think are the most important to you – the rules by which you wish to live and pursue your life.

Then for each write a sentence saying why this is important to you and how you have lived by that value in your life. Using one word is not really enough as it is so open to misunderstanding – what you are trying to do with this one sentence is be very clear about what that particular value means to you.