May 17, 2023

Aligning Your Values to Your Career

I'm Melissa
I'm a Career and Leadership Coach for Women in Pharma/Biotech. I've been where you are, and I help you create the career you want without working more hours or settling for good enough.
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This week we are doing some soul-centered work to help you not only know what your personal and career values are but how to align them with your career. If you want to be happier in your work, figure out your next career move, be a better leader, make better decisions, or maybe all of the above, this episode is for you. You are going to not only learn my values and how I use them but I’m going to walk you through how to know what yours are and how to use them to make meaningful changes in your career and your life. I’m even giving you access to the exact exercise I use with my clients. This is an episode you won’t want to miss. It can literally make your career better today.

What you’ll learn:

  • How to integrate your personal values with your career values
  • How to know what your values are How to use your values to have a better career
  • The way that I use my values to run my business

Mentioned in this episode:

Work with Melissa:

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Welcome to Your Worthy Career, a podcast with me, Melissa Lawrence. I’m a career and life coach with all the corporate credit and talent development and organizational psychology. I help women like you get extraordinary results by being more you, not less. I won’t just help you have a career experience worthy of you, but I will help you build your self worth to shift what you think is possible and take the action that will create the career you’ve always wanted. Whether it’s more meaningful work you’re passionate about, making more money, getting to your next level, or being more effective as a leader, we are shattering the glass ceiling here. The one that exists for women at work and the one we put on ourselves with our doubt and inner critic. Each week you will get practical teachings grounded in neuroscience and effective career development strategies. You’ll experience deep mindset shifts and the perfect amount of rule so you can run your career with ease rather than your career running you. You were born for more and I’m going to help you get there with maybe a few dance parties along the way. Your up level begins now.

Hello, cheetahs, and welcome to this week’s episode of the podcast. This week we are digging into something that is going to help you no matter what stage of your career that you are in. Whether you’re looking for another job, you want to be a better leader, or you want to know how to make decisions that you feel really good about, or maybe all of the above, we are talking about your values. And don’t worry if you don’t know what yours are or just want to confirm that you’re on the right path with knowing what yours are, I’m going to tell you how you can do that today. I’m also going to share with you my values and how I use them in my work as a business owner and just generally in my everyday life. Now, before we dig in, if you’re rolling your eyes at values work, if you’re already starting to tune out, listen, I get it. I think the company values and their inconsistency has just desensitized us to the importance of them. They’ve become a buzzword or things that people say, but they don’t do or that you see, but only they seem to apply to certain people.

It’s not consistent. But today I want to approach this episode with an open mind. I want you to just be open to the idea that just because you’ve seen them not work before doesn’t mean that can’t work for you, because I have all of the evidence that they are important and that they can be just the thing that you need to know what changes to make and to have a career that you feel really good about. And so I am going to tell you how I do that. I’m also going to tell you how you can do that for yourself. Because just because your company or others may not be in integrity with their values, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t a useful and powerful tool that you can leverage because you aren’t them, right? And I know from the workshop that I delivered a few weeks ago that many of you value integrity. So use this as an opportunity to change the story and be a different example for the value that values provide. See what I did there? Now, think of values as your why. They are part of your purpose. They guide you in your decisions.

They help you know what is really authentic and true for you. They can help recenter you. They can tell you why you’re unhappy in any part of your life. They can tell you what is important to you and what you want to really achieve, what you want your legacy to be. That’s pretty cool, right? They are more than words. They are like a compass. They can give you direction. When used correctly, they will help you achieve what you truly desire for your career and your life. When I take my clients through my career discovery process, values work is just one small exercise that we do. How I like to use values with my clients is we create really personalized interview questions with them. It enables you to know what questions to ask, to know if a company is truly a good fit for you and where there might be gaps in what a company has on their poster, versus the employee experience. They are also the foundation of your leadership philosophy. And I have a whole episode on leadership philosophy that you can check out if you parked up there and thought, Wait, what? What’s that?

How do I know what that is? I’ll drop a link in the show notes so that you can tune into that one. Now, another really important thing to know about your values is they are your values for you as a person. Not you at work, you at home, you as a parent, you as a partner, just you. Listen, even though we use your values to help you know what you want in your career, we get so used to compartmentalizing ourselves, home versus work. But you are one person and the best career for you, the best leadership style for you is going to align with your personal values. Okay, so I’m going to tell you mine, my values, so that you know how I use them. And just like your values, knowing other people’s values can really tell you something about them. So it’s going to help you get to know me a little bit better. Now, when I went through this through the exercise to identify my own values, it was really hard for me to narrow it down because there are so many things that are important to me. It was hard to leave some words off the list.

Now, I tell you this, because when you identify your own and I’m going to give you a way to do that, I suggest you have no more than five. This is so you can remember them and prioritize them. You know what it’s like at work when everything is a priority? Not effective, right? So I encourage you to focus on five as your top priority and the other things can be important to you, but they won’t be as critical in your decision making. I’m going to talk a little bit about that as I explain mine to you. So here are my five values: bold, impactful, compassionate, resourceful, and fun. Now I’m going to define these for you, and then you’ll get to see how I use them. So bold, I say the hard things and I stand up for what is right. If you aren’t new to me, you know that I am a fierce advocate and believe strongly in fairness and equity for all. Injustice is something that really gets under my skin. And for me, this is a lifelong journey because I have one experience as me, Melissa, in the way that I grew up, I can’t even begin to comprehend what it’s like for all of you or everyone else to have their experience.

It’s different for all of us. And so it’s really a lifelong journey to really be able to be an advocate for others and to be able to stand up for what’s right. But I really let that guide me in my decisions. And it’s really important to me that I stand up for equity, that I stand up for equality and fairness, and that sometimes requires that I have to say hard and uncomfortable things. But I have this as a value to remind me that this is who I am. And for all of you, when you’re listening to this and you’re hearing my values, my values are probably part of the reason that you are connected to me, that you listen to this podcast, because we have some common ground between what I believe and what you believe. So the second value, impactful. Now, this means the work that I do makes a difference, and so I deliver work with the highest quality. So having work that is impactful, that’s leaving a legacy, that is having a ripple effect with all of my clients that I know. They are living a better life, a better career because of me.

And the work that I do and the way that I help them is super important to me. It’s the reason that I have this job to begin with. And as part of that, it’s important to me that I deliver with the highest quality. High quality work, high quality coaching is how I make such a big impact. It’s how I have so many referrals. It’s how I have such a high success rate with all of my clients because it’s important to me that I don’t phone it in, that if I’m going to put something out there that you can trust, that it’s going to be incredible. Now, number 3, I’m compassionate. Compassionate is the third value. And this means that I honor, respect, and care for my clients as humans, and I support them to reach their desired goals from where they are. Resourceful. I problem solve. I’m creative. I take initiative and I get things done to overdeliver for myself and my clients. Fun. I don’t work to live. I work because I love what I do. It’s important to me, if you know my journey, that I am doing work that I love.

I’m not going to settle for less. And so it’s important to me then that I have fun in what I’m doing and that I’m not afraid to integrate fun and playfulness into my work and the way that I deliver results. So you can probably already start to see how I might use these, but here are some additional tangible examples. So I have these values on my job description. I have a couple of contractors that I work with to help me on the back end of my business, and I use these values when I’m interviewing or looking for new employees to help filter candidates. So if, for example, a candidate doesn’t resonate with these, they’re not going to apply. If the idea of having fun in your work or being bold and saying things that make you uncomfortable, if problem solving and taking initiative as opposed to being told exactly what to do, if those things don’t resonate with someone, then they’re going to decide on their own that it’s not a good fit for them, which saves us both time. Then as I’m interviewing, I’m going to ask questions that will help me see if the candidate is aligned with these values.

And I really learned this the hard way. Like most managers, I’ve had some people join that weren’t the best fit, and it was a great experience for me as a leader. But now I know what to look for, not just for can they do the job? But these questions around these values that I ask tell me how they do the job. And that’s really what the values are for us. It tells us how we work and why we work, right? How we behave and interact in society and why we do that. So I also use these values as a compass. So when I’m going to, say, launch a new project or share something new with you. When I opened the doors to the stand out leader incubator, I asked myself, what would be really fun? What would just be really enjoyable and fun and playful for you to experience, but also for me to experience and to facilitate and host for you? Because when we have fun, this is again, my values, this is my belief, when we have fun in what we’re doing, we can get bigger results. When things aren’t so serious and we’re enjoying ourselves, we’re more open minded, we’re letting go of some of the fear, we’re willing to try new things, and we enjoy ourselves.

We enjoy going to work, we enjoy the process of change. So to me, fun is just really important for me and for my clients. Now, when I delivered the workshop, How to Make the Right Career Decisions, a couple of weeks ago, I thought, What is going to be really impactful for you? How can I honor you from where you are and help you get results on that workshop, no matter what your goals are. And if you attended that workshop, you also know that I integrated the Your Worthy Career playlist and some dancing, right? And that was fun for me and for people that attended, creating some lightheartedness into our Friday and the serious work that we were doing together. And when I’m coaching, I say the hard things. If you say you want something and you start backtracking or not following through or changing your mind, instead of just saying, Okay, what do you want to work on now? Some coaches might do. I question it. With your permission, we dig into your brain a bit so we can determine, is this you self sabotaging? Is this you trying to avoid something hard? And 90 % of the time it is.

Imagine if I don’t say the hard thing, that’s preventing you from getting what you really want. So me doing that is helping you be the person you want to be and get the results you want to get. And then when it comes to standing up for human rights, civil rights, women, I speak up. I post things that make me really uncomfortable sometimes. I go against the grain. I show up authentically as me, and I encourage others to do the same. And I lead by example by saying the hard things and standing up for what I think is right. I also love my clients so much. And as a listener, that includes you. I care for my clients and I see them as humans first over anything else. I have empathy and kindness and acceptance for everyone, just as you are. And that is all tied to compassion. The reason I do what I do, how I know this career is right for me is I wanted to make a bigger impact in the world. I wanted to help people be more themselves, not less. I wanted them to see that they could be happy in their career and with themselves without trying to be a broski or settling for good enough.

This mission to elevate women, heal old wounds, shatter their glass ceiling in their mind, but also the real one at work is what I’ve been doing forever. And it’s also work I’ve done for myself. So I know the power of it. I learned the power of it for me first, and then I started helping other people with it. But this is also why I struggled in my corporate job. Many companies are focused on business and bottom line results, which I totally understand. I have a whole business acumen side of my brain that understands that priority. But my priority isn’t the money, it’s the people. I think the people are what make a difference. I don’t see people as disposable or easily replaceable. So working for a company wasn’t my best career for the type of work that I do. So I worked in talent and development. I did coaching in the industry, but it wasn’t a good fit for me because I couldn’t lead with my own values. So starting my own business guided by my values and doing the work I love was the right choice for me. So you see, my values are my company values, are my work values.

They’re all the same. This is the same for you, even if you don’t have your own company. So when you’re feeling misaligned, it’s likely because your personal values are not aligning with your work values and your company values. Who you are and what is important to you is connected to your purpose. It’s connected to your work. When you know your values and then you do a gap assessment or an audit to know where there’s disconnection, you can more easily know what needs to change, whether it’s a big thing or why you’re frustrated in a specific moment. So for example, with me and fun, fun, one of my values, if I find myself feeling stressed in my work, I take a breath and check in with my values. And most times it’s because I’m not integrating enough fun. I’ve gotten too bogged down with my to-do list. So I take a minute and reflect, how can I make today more fun? What would I love to do? You can do the same. So here is how you know your values. I created a guide with the same exercise I use with my clients that will walk you step by step into identifying your personal values and then into doing a gap assessment so you know what changes to make.

You know my values. Can you guess why I did that? Why I created that for you? I created this guide and workbook to tell you exactly what your values are and how to use them for free because it will help so many people. Bold, impactful, compassionate, resourceful, fun. My values guided me to make that decision, to create that, to have a workshop off of it, to provide the guide to you for free. So I encourage you to head to my website right now and grab your guide. You can access it from my homepage at, or you can go directly to the download page You’ll be sent the workbook immediately. You can know your values and how to use them, what changes to make, what to do, right now, today. How amazing is that? Enjoy it, relish in it, enjoy knowing yourself on a whole other level. Have an amazing week. 

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No longer settles for “good enough”

Hi, I’m Melissa.

Career & Leadership Coach for Women in Pharma/Biotech

I'm a former Talent & Development leader in Pharma/Biotech turned CEO and Certified Professional Career & Life Coach. I also host the podcast, Your Worthy Career.

I've been where you are, and I help you create the career you want without working more hours or settling for good enough.

I'm leading a movement of women in the industry who are figuring out exactly what they want and shattering the glass ceiling. The very real ceiling in the industry, but also the one that we impose on ourselves. 

So long, imposter syndrome and overthinking. It's time to step into the impact and life you're worthy of having.

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