Align Life and Career Goals to Your Position to Create Market Fit
This alignment exercise is for those that already know what career choice or business (for consultants/ freelancers) they want or have. The goal is to make sure your life and career goals are working together instead of being opposing forces, and that your position or business (if you are a consultant) is aligned with your career goals. There is a ranking column on the right under “Career Choice” that helps you rank how much this position or business fits with each career goal. You can use this ranking system also if you are trying to choose a job.
- Type in your most important life and work goals, values, or “must haves” in the first two columns. Make sure you list your “must haves” in order of importance. Whether you are an employee, consultant, or freelancer, you want to make sure that your work and life choices line up for the most part. So on the left side, fill out your life goals and on the right side, fill out what you want out of work.
- Look for are any conflicting goals, values, or “must haves”. If you have a job in an industry, or you are starting a business that conflicts with your life or career values and goals, you need to reassess, maybe change it, or at least know that there is a conflict. When they are working in tandem, you can get FAR more traction and work-life balance. For example, if you want to travel the globe, get a job that travels. By visually cross-comparing these two categories, you can spot conflicting life and work values/goals and adjust accordingly.
- Under “Career Choice”, type in your career position or business you are in, or have chosen, and use this ranking system to assure that your work choice aligns with your career goals and values. This might be somewhat of a duplicate if you went through this in the <strong”>Career Choice section. On a scale of 0-10, does your choice meet the career goal to the left? Score: “0”- it does not meet the goal, “5” partially, and “10”- it completely meets it. It should be a higher number if this is the right choice and you are aligned.
- At the bottom, under Market Fit, make sure you are in a viable field that will be around for a while by checking on the
If you are unclear on a choice at this point, go to Making a Career Choice: Step 1, and come back to this step afterward. If your scoring adds up below 60- consider finding another career choice. Any career choice above 60 will be more compatible, and it is up to you to determine what you want to forgo – if anything.
Example of Work-Life Alignment Worksheet
In this example, this position had a score to 77 which is generally pretty good, but there was no option to live by the ocean, and it was non-negotiable for this person and therefore he decided to look for a job closer to the coast.
It can be general or specific such as:
-run a marathon
-travel the globe
-get kids through college
-sans kids and buy a llama ranch in Montana
Or whatever brings you joy, growth, and meaning into your life.
Examples of goals could include: having a specific type of consulting company that brings in X amount of year and helps improve education globally, or if you are an employee- you work for a company making X amount a year that is involved in sustainable energy.
-have a specific type of consulting company that brings in X amount of year
-my company helps improve education globally
-mentor the growth of my contractors
-Sell consultancy in 10 years and retire
-work for a sustainable solutions company
-have flexible hours that I work at home or in the office
-make X amount a year
-Become Director of Operations
-Retire by 65
HAVE A PARTNER?
Print out a clean copy of this first, and ask your partner to fill it out. Compare when you are finished. Make sure you and your partner are aligned and understand each others’ choices. It’s a great way to support one another.
OTHER USES FOR THIS ALIGNMENT GRID- DEGREE/TRAINING
Considering a specific degree or training? Try lining up the degree or training with your life and career goals to see if it makes sense.
Don’t forget to save your work with the button on the bottom right.
[ END OF INSTRUCTIONS- Go to Top -Toggle up by clicking top “Instructions & Examples” bar.]
Skills/Value Alignment to Assure Market Fit
When applying for a job, you want to assure you have the current skills needed for a new position, and if you are moving to a new position or industry (for consultants or freelancers), do a gap analysis with your current vs. new position’s skills or talents. You can use a job description for that job or a job that is similar.
- Input the skills below. Start with the required skills and put an asterisk(*) by each of these skills.
- In the two columns to the right, choose if you already have the skill or need it. Do you have most of the required skills at least? Typically you are not required to have ALL of the skills or talents in a position. The job description acts as the hiring manager’s “wish list.”
- If you have any additional skills that you think might be really valuable to this position that might offset the ones that you do not have, please add that in the last box underneath.
Grow Your Value
How do you grow your value in your work and meet your supervisor’s (for employees) or client’s (for consultants/freelancers) expectations? Below is a list of key areas to focus on based on our research.
- Read each and describe how you are doing each of these below.
- Do you need to work on any of these?
- Fill out how you are doing or how you can do each below that is applicable to your work.
Add any needed items to your Action Plan.
High Performers Vs. Low Performers
In this article, “High Performers Versus Low Performers – 7 Ways to Tell the Difference” by IMPROVING TEAM PERFORMANCE, Barbara Brown, PhD asked:
“What’s the difference between a high-performer and low-performer? High-Performers make positive contributions, Low-Performers do not make positive contributions. A high performer:
1. Communicates with customers in a way that positively contributes to the achievement of team, office, and organization goals
2. Works with coworkers in a way that positively contributes to the achievement of team, office, and organization goals
3. Manages workloads in a way that positively contributes to the achievement of team, office, and organization goals
4. Manages personal and professional development in a way that positively contributes to the achievement of team, office, and organization goals
5. Adheres to policies, procedures, and regulations in a way that positively contributes to the achievement of team, office, and organization goals
6. Participates in meetings and other activities in a way that positively contributes to the achievement of team, office, and organization goals
7. Manages change in a way that positively contributes to the achievement of team, office, and organization goals.”
Map Our Your Annual Plan to Grow Your Value (projects/goals, awards, network, visibility, feedback, education/training, etc.)
A strategy combined with an action plan is the most important way you can make movement in your career. By mapping out an annual plan, you will stay focused, organized, and feel less taxed because you will know that you are on the right path to actualizing your long-term vision.
- Top 2 projects or goals that will bring the most results to your department or position.
- Build your network and assuring you have a sponsor that you are working with that is 2 positions above you. Being a “bridge” or “connector” person can be a highly valued trait.
- Take on speaking engagements, functions, or volunteer work (for boards, associations, think tanks, etc.) that will give you visibility.
- Seek out any awards you can for your department, work, etc.
- Send out a 360 feedback survey to your coworkers once a year that asks questions about your work style, your interactions with teams, etc. to get some intel on how you are perceived. Take note of any areas you need to work on or pivot.
- Sign up for training or education that will help you to continue to skill up.
Align Yourself to Strategy of Your Business
The only way to truly feel valued at work is to be engaged, and the best way to be engaged is to know the business of your business. It helps to look at it from a macroscopic level, so by diving in and doing the necessary research, you will be able to look for new opportunities for growth by targeting your efforts effectively. Go through each section below and answer to the best of your abilities.
Go through each section and pull the data from:
- Your company website
- Research of your competitors
You will also tune in to your organization’s KPI. This is a good place to go to get more information for this.
Klipfolio’s: “KPI Examples”Image by Kipfolio’s site
Consultants and Freelancers
If you don’t have a business plan, make sure you start one. Here is a good place to gather pertinent information to keep on top of your goals and KPIs for your business. You can utilize information from this site below. Go through each section and pull the data from:
- Your company website
- Research from your competitors websites (or other sources)
- Colleagues or people in your professional associations or networks
You finished the ALIGN YOUR Value phase. You can take a break or go on to the next phase of your roadmap. See your enrolled roadmap course for the next section. Add to your Action Plan if needed.
Results from finishing ALIGN YOUR VALUE:
1) Try to align any life goals into your career wherever possible. This will create a 2-for-1 scenario that will carve out a work-life instead of a career with a “side of life” scenario.
2) You’ve aligned any needed skills to your current job so that you can stay valued.
3) You have run through a list of ways you can stay valued at work.
4) You’ve mapped out an annual plan to grow your value and therefore your career and salary trajectories.
5) You’ve assured that your value is aligned to the business strategy of the company at which you work.