One of my clients in 2009 was a cute Asian girl with short, trendy hair, a black business suit, and large, sad, brown eyes. As we began to work together, I discovered a beautiful, radiant artist’s soul. She arrived in Utah from a cosmopolitan area with a history of miserable jobs in sales and a passion for the big city. Not long after moving to the middle of the Rockies, she wondered why she suffered from so many headaches, bouts of the flu and colds, and felt absolutely drained most of the time.
She quickly discovered that the job she found in Utah was not giving her enough money to meet her bills. She’d found work in what she thought was perfect for her—a young, progressive company with lots of opportunities. But it did not take long before she felt completely disconnected. The stress of being miserable at the job began to affect her health. On came the headaches and the flu. She called in sick more and more. Since her jobs were based on performance, her ability to financially put her student husband through school was seriously compromised. Eventually, after months of this high stress, her long-suffering and patient husband gave a “we can’t continue like this” talk.
Desperate, and knowing she had her living, health, and marriage on the line, she tearfully asked me what the problem was. Why was she so miserable with a job she thought she would be good at? How could she get herself into a better place? I immediately prescribed a value assessment to determine her top three to five values.
Upon taking the test, it became clear that what she was missing was not honoring one or more of her values in each of her duties. After looking at her list of values, she said, “Now I understand why I’m so miserable.” She started asking herself questions like: “If I value aesthetics so much, why am I not pursuing a career that includes them?” and, “How can I bring more of my values into my current job until I am at the right spot to change jobs?” Over the next couple of weeks, she thought about her top values and whether her work honored them. She came to a deep understanding what that really meant to her. As a result, major shifts followed in her job, housing situation, and health.
Those few critical questions set her on a completely different path. Since then she has chosen the industry she wants to be in, has gotten training to prepare her for that path, and has made huge shifts in what she looks for in jobs that help her get by until she qualifies for the one she wants to land eventually. She’s not sick as often, and her husband has time to focus on his studies. Best of all, when she thinks about her career, she is on fire with the passion that makes her ready to take on the future.
What are your top three values? Are you honoring them in every area of your life? If not, Step It Up and Be on Fire completely, by living within your values.