When “Green” isn’t Enough: Aligning with *all* your Values

Many of my clients have meaningful jobs, but they don’t feel fulfilled. When they started off with a “green” career, they assumed they’d always feel good about it because it connected with one of their significant values.

There’s more to fulfillment than just working for a green organization or on green issues. You might be making a difference to the environment, but you may be out of alignment with some other values like freedom, flexibility, or security.

For example, someone working on green projects for the government might feel she’s making a difference to air quality. But if she also feels burned out, she could be out of alignment with her values of flexibility and freedom—values her government job may not fulfill.

Get clear on what you value in your lifestyle as well as your career. What kind of lifestyle do you want? Do you want to work part time, so you can pick up your kids after school? When you know the lifestyle you want, then you can quickly identify career opportunities that support it.
If you’re putting lifestyle issues in the would-be-nice category, it’s time to recognize that living your values is critical to your happiness.

Once you know your values and what you really want, you have a powerful tool that will let you honour your values in all your decisions. When evaluating an opportunity doesn’t take you closer to your ideal, you’ll feel more connected if you acknowledge and honour that truth, and find another option that will take you closer to your goal.