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When Our Work and Values Are Out of Alignment

It's not easy to uncover connection between our unique set of values and our everyday work. But I promise you, it’s possible.

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Ever meet someone who is far from practicing what they preach at work? Like an HR professional who hates people, a Financial Planner who is in massive debt, a Communications Director who can’t communicate one-on-one, a Life Coach whose life is a total mess or even a Doctor who is a heavy smoker? We’ve all come across these people and maybe we’ve even been them at some point in time.

The one thing that’s obvious is there is a massive divide in our society right now. A divide between the folks whose work is in alignment with their values and those whose work is not.

It may not even need to be as intense as the examples above, but it’s real. Some people feel they can’t bring their true selves to work. They can’t be authentic in the way they engage with others or even use their voice to share their genuine feelings and perspectives. I’m literally hearing from thousands of people who are yearning for this experience. And while it’s sad, it’s also exciting. Exciting because people KNOW there is a better way to spend their time on this earth and they’re realizing they need to figure it out.

I always knew this to be true because I was one of those people. I often hid behind a mask of purpose by working in the nonprofit space. Was the work I was doing meaningful for the community? Yes. Was it activating my talents? Yes. Were the organizations being run in a way that I could be my authentic self? Hell-to-the-no. Was I able to activate my values without consequence? No way.

These are the little things that are the big things in feeling like we’re able to show up in life as we are and not feel muzzled by others’ bad behavior or leadership style. It’s my humble opinion that my generation is shifting this paradigm in a way that is shocking the cultural norms at work – and companies are puzzled by how to respond.

These are not problems that can be solved with a pay increase, a one-time training or a motivational speech. These things are deeply embedded within us and take dedicated (and on-going) support to identify and shift. Few have figured out how to uncover and ignite the connection between our unique set of values that serve as internal drivers and our everyday work. But I promise you, it’s possible.

Here’s the first step: Get clear on your values – the pieces of our internal compass that motivate and drive us. Need a kickstart? Here’s a free worksheet to get your process going.

Once you have an idea of where you are, you can use it as a compass for where you want to go – especially as it relates to the 40+ hours that you spend each week at work. If you find that the list of your personal values is not experienced in your job, then it’s time to make some decisions.

Decisions on what’s important to you, what you’re able to do to shift yourself internally and where you need to shift externally. When your values and work are in alignment, every single day is filled with purpose no matter what you’re doing. It’s a beautiful experience that we all deserve to have in life.

If you want to take it a step further, join me at an upcoming Life Lens workshop. We will take a deep dive into this space and leave with more tools to own our future and step into our light.

Alignment is within you, you just need to activate it!

This piece originally appeared on LinkedIn.com

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