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Core Values: Your Key To A Happy Career Life

By Benjamin Caruncho III


24 Sep 2013 Print This Post Print This Post


    It was in late 2008 that I discovered something I didn’t know I had all along in my “career utility belt.” For seven years, I filled my ”utility belt” (resume) with an assortment of seemingly practical but incoherent items: work experience, seminars, sidelines, and even hobbies. Then, in my return to full-time teaching, I realized I had something that will truly buckle the belt.

    Those are my personal core values. And they helped me define my career direction, survive mistakes, carry the combined burdens of being a family breadwinner and teacher to hundreds of students, and, be happy with the end results.

    I wish to share with everyone how identifying and living by one’s core values helps one to achieve his/her desired success—both in career life and life in general.

    How did I know I even had core values?

    It was September 2008 when I considered applying in St. Paul University Quezon City in response to a dare by an outgoing friend. I eventually passed the hard tests, but, it’s the substance of what I wrote on the essay part that’s worth remembering. Many say essays are “unflunkable”, but I was thinking at that time it could spell the difference between a successful and a failed university teaching application.

    When the essay asked what I could contribute to the institution, this was what I wrote (though not the exact words):

    “I believe my values will guide me. My whole life is built on these four-fold core values…the spiritual, the academic, the athletic and the need to be surrounded with good friends.”

    My core values, your guide to writing yours

    Writing a stuff of legend was never my intention, but I did elaborate to help my evaluators decide if I’m a good fit to teach and lead their students. In my belief, it shouldn’t take one long to put one’s core values in writing. Explicitly stating one’s core values does assume that one grew up embracing—in whole or parts—the values systems of parents and institutions during one’s formative years.

    • Spiritual – I value the Almighty God, His Church and its doctrines. I recognize the Creator as the source of righteous might and wisdom; my guide in the decisions I make that impact the lives of many.
    • Academic – I value life-long learning and scholasticism. Many people depend on me. I thus see the need to stay informed to improve my decisions and judgments. I also see the need to architect a vision of the future that can benefit many.
    • Athletic – I value good health and physical fitness. I see the need to stay strong and healthy as my household’s most capable breadwinner, and society’s dependable servant. The youth will see in me a person free from vice, and close to the original state God had intended for man.
    • Social – I value family, friends and a healthy support structure. I recognize the fact that I wouldn’t have gotten this far in life had it not been for the good people who became my moral beacons.

    Where my core values got me

    My core values have been influencing my career decisions even before I knew it. When I was younger, my first job was just a means for earning a living. Beyond that, work seemed to have no other purpose. Many have also told me to go abroad and profit from the stints. Some even told me to run for public office.

    I, instead, chose to listen to that inner voice telling me to serve my country through the spreading of useful knowledge, but without compromising my household’s needs and my own. As the years went by, my job was maturing into a career, and my career was maturing into a vocation. Little did I realize, I was maturing too: from a person who merely goes to his job to win bread for his home, to a career professional who sees his participation in the development of his country.

    I have been a technology professional and teacher since 2001. The thrill of work is not confined to the generation of income alone. Beyond income is a higher purpose that engrosses one to professionally improve. And if you believe that your other personal values are interconnected in one way or another, an improvement in one life aspect helps to improve the others. The whole you improves as a result. Your improved disposition at work encourages others to improve too, without you even telling them.

    I encourage you to know what you value most in life and how your individual personal values interrelate with each other. Then, discover how an integrated values system can help you better connect with the world around you—and see yourself as an important cog in the engine of life.


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