Need Help Determining Your College and Career Values?

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Need Help Determining Your College and Career Values?

How would you define your values?

Your values are the things that you believe are important in the way you live and work. They (should) determine your priorities, and, deep down, they’re probably the measures you use to tell if your life is turning out the way you want it to. When the things that you do and the way you behave match your values, life is usually good – you’re satisfied and content. But when these don’t align with your values, that’s when things feel… wrong. This can be a real source of unhappiness in college and at a work environment.

How Values Help You

Values exist, whether you recognize them or not. Life can be much easier when you acknowledge your values – and when you make plans and decisions that honor them. Although individual work values cannot be neatly coded to college majors and career options, you should explore your top 3 values to learn more about how they relate to your academic and career plans. For example, if “power” is an important value and you are considering management for a college major, then your plans seem consistent with your values. However, if “money” is a top value and you are considering social work for a college major, then you may wish to explore this further as social work tends to offer lower salaries than other fields.

In these types of situations, understanding your values can really help you answer questions like these:

  • What major should I pursue?
  • What career path should I take?
  • What college organizations and clubs should I belong to?
  • Should I follow tradition, or travel down a new path?
  • What job should I pursue?

At College2Career, I use the Rutgers Value Assessment to help you learn more about your career values. This assessment will help you understand the real priorities in your life, and you’ll be able to determine the best direction for you and your life goals!

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About the Author:

Molly Carey Smith, M.A. is a career counselor who specializes in providing career assessments to help high school and college students identify college majors and career options and to help young adults transition more effectively in a new role or career. The Highlands Ability Battery, The Strong Interest Inventory and The Rutger's Value Assessment are the perfect tools to identify which college major and career options are the best fit. The more knowledge you have about yourself the more effective your life and career decisions will be. To contact Molly -