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What does one think of when someone asks about personal values? This is sometimes a question that comes up in the interviewing process. Professionals advancing in education may be faced with this question. Personally I question the integrity of this question. Values and ethics can be such a broad yet personal subject. Personal, organizational, and cultural values affect our decision-making on a daily basis.
Most people view their lives as divided entities. One has his or her personal life, which holds high importance; one also has his or her professional lives, which often impacts one’s personal lives.
Everyone has goals for both our personal and professional lives. These goals and values often change slightly as we make our way through the progression of life. My values hold high precedence in both entities of my life, personal and professional.
“A value is a conception, explicit or implicit… of the desirable which influences the selection from available modes, means, and ends of action” (Kluckhohn, 1951). When attempting to look into how our personal values affect our lives, we must first identify them. Every individual has his or her own set of values; some share common values whereas others are simply unique.
Values can be divided into different categories including personal, organizational, and cultural. My personal values include the following: family, friendship, honesty, loyalty, and independence. My organizational or work values include the following: diversity, teamwork, loyalty, education, autonomy, and dedication.
My cultural values include the following: faith, tradition, family, and ancestry. Oftentimes these values overlap. In order to be successful in my education, I have formed a personal mission statement to help me achieve my goals. I value family, faith, and honesty.
All of these have given me a rich and rewarding life, and will continue to with these core values at my side. No matter what may be in front of me. I am confident that with family, honesty, and faith to guide me, anything is within my grasp. Now one must ask themselves how his or her personal values will affect them on a daily basis. I believe to get through each day I must start with faith on my side. If you truly believe, faith can get one through anything. For this reason, I wake up each day to thank God for the blessings He has given me thus far, and to give me the strength to conquer anything that steps before me.
In my personal life, with a child and husband, I place high precedence on even the smallest of decisions. I believe that my values began to develop the day I was born. My father and grandfather were both outstanding role models to me. My father was self-employed; he left our home every morning at four and did not return home till 10 in the evening. Family held such importance that my mother would load up the car with two toddlers and a homemade dinner every day so my father would be able to eat with his family. Before each meal we would share a prayer, thanking God for our blessings.
This simple act showed my sister and I how important family, faith, and a strong work ethic were in life. My grandfather is now 75 years old and still farms five hundred plus acres. With that said, he never misses family dinner or Sunday mass. Both of these individuals taught me the importance of dedication, loyalty, and teamwork. Personal values impact the way I make decisions on a daily basis. Before making any decision, I ask myself a series of questions. How will it affect my family, my faith, my ability to be honest?
If it affects any of my core values in a negative way, the answer is no. This does not mean I turn away every opportunity that does not fit into my current lifestyle. For example, going back to school was a big decision that my husband and I made together. Yes it was going to take time away from my family; however, in the long run the good would outweigh the bad. My values also play a large role in decisions made in my professional life. As a nurse, several situations that I am faced with bring ethical matters to the table.
Sometimes you have to place your personal values aside and respect those of the patient and his or her family. With the intention of moving into a managerial position, I must ask myself will my values affect my decision making. According to a study at The Pennsylvania State University, “values do not appear to play an important role in the ethical dimension of decision making. ” (Fritzshae, 2007). The study also discussed the different types of values; indicating that companies would be better off hiring individuals with altruistic values, rather than self-enhancing.
To me this makes perfect sense; one that places higher importance on success as a whole will be more beneficial to an employer. Not everyone is cut out for a managerial position. The question is what values are important to be a successful leader. “Managers who are effective at developing and maintaining organizational environments that are characterized by spiritual values, such as openness, embracing diverse viewpoints and values, and a servant-orientation are more likely to enjoy more favorable worker attitudes. ” (Kolodinsky, 2008).
In addition to these values, one’s personal values can also impact ones ability to succeed in a managerial position. My personal values will help me succeed; working in the healthcare field I believe one must place high value on family, faith, and honesty. Throughout the adventure of graduate school and my professional career I will abide by the following mission statement. I value family, faith, and honesty through which I can achieve anything I put my mind to. Accordingly I will follow my dreams with these core values at my side.
No matter what goal I place in front of me, I am confident that with family, faith, and honesty at the forefront I can achieve anything. This will continue to guide my every step, every decision, and every success.