How to determine whether your intrinsic values align both at home and work

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Have you ever found yourself in a team meeting, wholly disconnected from the company culture? Ever expected more from a company’s benefits plan? 

You may have been offered exciting new opportunities, great compensation, and promising career prospects. But what’s missing? Maybe the company’s workplace values just don’t align with yours.

As impact recruiters, we have noticed a shift in the zeitgeist, especially post-pandemic. Some people have been prompted to reassess their work and lives. For example, one in three US workers under 40 thought about changing their occupation since the pandemic began.

Jobseekers are moving away from companies or corporate cultures that don’t align with their values and turning towards the growing social impact sector. There are so many opportunities across countless industries for those seeking social impact jobs – from social investment to philanthropic leads at corporate firms – and the compromise on salary doesn’t have to cut so deep either. 

So, when do you know if your core values align with your career or if it is time to make a switch?

Weigh up your personal values 

The first thing is to think about when you were happiest in both your career and personal life: What were you doing? Were you rising up the ranks fast? Which people were you surrounded by? Were you working two jobs and volunteering at the same time? 

Also, look at the leaders you most admire in the industry where you currently work, or where you are considering moving to. What skills do they have? What strong values do they uphold?

Then, identify the times you were most proud of yourself. Was it when you got a new job, you made a significant impact on someone’s life, or you got a degree? Why did you feel proud? 

Then, narrow down your values. What inspires you to get out of bed every morning? If you identify with philanthropy, community, and generosity, it looks like service to others is one of your top values. Or you may appreciate independence, accountability, and discipline, and seek out a role such as Head of Finance, which allows you to explore these values further. And if you could satisfy only one value, which job would you be in? 

This is what we would call discovering your passion.

The career with purpose graphic for impact recruitment 

Ikigai (ee-key-guy) is a Japanese concept that means “reason for being.” Iki in Japanese means ‘life,’ and ‘gai’ describes value or worth. Your ikigai is your life purpose or meaning, combining passion, vocation, profession, and mission.

At Careers4Change, we believe you can be happy in a career long-term where passion, skills, and meaningful impact intersect. You must identify your key drivers before pursuing a career in the social impact sector.


What skills are you craving to use and develop? What do or did you enjoy about your current or previous role? Are your skills more suited for a startup, large organization, or SME? 

The social sector is currently on the lookout for those with investment management, fund accounting, risk management, or financial reporting experience. Therefore, if you’ve decided your passion lies in serving others, but you have 20 years of experience in banking, you could be suitable for social investment leadership positions

Many are choosing to take their corporate learning to the social sector to leverage their skills in another way that satisfies all three parts of the career with a purpose pie chart.

Meaningful impact

We are seeing a wave of people move from the corporate sector because their personal values do not align with their day job. To find your meaningful impact, look towards the Sustainable Development Goals

Think about your volunteering experience, humanitarian work, or philanthropic projects that caught your attention. Candidates from the commercial sector that get jobs that align with their passion have often done volunteering in their target areas or been trustees. 

All your responsibilities, whether personal or job-related, may mean you don’t have a second to sit down and define your values or work out what you want from your career. But we promise, as you have your morning coffee or sit on the train to work, it is worth taking even five minutes to think through the questions in this blog. You might never look back.

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Date: 9 March 2023 | Posted In: Helpful Guides | Posted by: Careers4change

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