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Understand Your Values Before Making a Career Change

Paul Yates

I've been writing a website now for 5 years with the express intention that one day it would make me financially independent and by that I mean that I would be able to work on the website full time to provide sufficient income to keep me and my family safe from the debt collectors.....and have a little cash to spare.

Based on the growth that I had seen historically, working our the approximate revenue per 100 site visitors I was able to predict that I could quit the day job sometime towards the end of 2011. A great target and one that I thought was readily achievable.

I had spoken to many people in business about my venture and canvassed opinion about what it is like working at home and working for yourself. There were many diverse answers but also some common threads started to appear, and common enough for me to think about further investigation.

The three that came up the most were:-

It's not easy working for yourself, in fact it's hard work and the pay checks aren't as regular. How will you motivate yourself and not lie in bed all day? How will you survive without talking to anyone all day?

On the face of it, it would be easy to just brush these points aside but I wanted to be sure that I was making the right decision. As a professional manager over the years I'd done many personality profiles and one that stuck in my mind was Myers Briggs and the fact that I'm an introvert � ISTJ to be precise. Being an introvert, maybe I don't need the comfort and security of others.

I decided that if I was going to do this for the rest of my life then it really was worth digging into further and it was whilst doing this research that I came across a values inventory test so I decided to take the plunge.

After paying my fee, I completed a questionnaire that took about 45 minutes and at the end of it I was presented with a debrief and a number of charts and graphs. I won't go into my own personal stuff other than to say it was probably one of the best things that I did because it really took me deep down into my core and helped me to examine what's driving me.

The principle behind the values inventory test is that is that there are many different values (about 145) and to give an overview these can be grouped into 7 discrete categories and collectively this is known as your world view. Research shows that people view the world in different ways and this data, presented as a graph, shows you how important each cluster is and therefore how much of your life you will devote to satisfying those values.

In addition, I also got a breakdown of my top 10 values. My top 3 were:-


Financial Security


This above anything else told me that setting up my own business was something that I just had to do � and now, ahead of schedule, I work at home and I am my own boss.

There is one caveat that I should mention. Your values can and do change as a result of your situation so you have to keep this in mind however it's unlikely that your values are being completely driven by your environment � it is mainly you (or me).

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