Building Your Compass Identity, Values, and Goals

Slides for the session

Learning Goals

  • Identify new ways to build the habit of self-reflection
  • Understand your social identity and values
  • Analyze what you bring to the tech industry
  • Utilize tools to build your compass

This Week’s Career Journal

  • Power of Self-Reflection
  • Social Identity Mapping
  • Values Mapping
  • Workview & Lifeview

Importance of Self-Reflection

Throughout career development at Turing, you’ll continue to be challenged to reflect in ways you might not have previously. Your career journal will ask you to think about yourself and your goals using various questions that might be new to you. This is how you grow and make progress.

Take 5-7 minutes to read through this post on the power of self-reflection

Here’s another, longer article that provides some additional insight into the importance of self-reflection as it relates to work and working relationships.

Your first journal prompt this week will ask you to consider what is challenging about self-reflection and how you can continue to build it as a habit while at Turing.

Building a Compass

The following ideas come from the book Designing Your Life

When you’re undergoing a big life change, such as a career change, it’s easy to get bogged down in all the details and numerous questions that come up about our lives – “What do I want in life? How will I find it? Why am I here? What am I supposed to do?” Those questions can sometimes lead to analysis paralysis, and it’s hard for us to move forward. So, instead of trying to answer all the questions at once, we’re going to start with a framework – we’re going to build a compass.

You’re probably familiar with a compass. It’s a navigational device that allows the user to understand their own direction as it relates to the cardinal directions, most notably aligning with magnetic north. Using a compass helps us orient ourselves and figure out what direction we need to head in next to make it to our destination.

To create your “true north,” we’re going to utilize a few different tools that will help you understand yourself better when it comes to your identity, values, and what the book calls “workview” and “lifeview” – the ways in which you define what work and life are to you.

In summary, building a compass will allow you to move from the dysfunctional belief of “I should already know where I’m going,” which is a fixed mindset approach to understanding your goals to “I won’t always know where I’m going, but I can always know whether I’m going in the right direction.” Throughout Turing and your job search, come back to your compass to help you understand if your actions are aligned with what’s important to you in your new career. When they are, you are absolutely on the right track!

Social Identity Mapping

Your social identity uses parts of a person’s identity to categorize them into groups. We do this almost unconsciously as we meet and talk to other people – as humans, we organize ideas through groupings. We do this people too, and we are all members of multiple groups according to our social identities. Many of us compare the groups we belong to with other groups, typically thinking more highly of our own.

Your social identity is a combination of three broad components:

  • Given: consisting of the conditions that are outside of your control such as birthplace, gender, certain family roles or physical characteristics
  • Chosen: includes the characteristics that you choose such as occupation, hobbies and political affiliation
  • Core: made up of the attributes that make you unique as an individual such as behaviors, values, skills, and items from your given and chosen categories

Even though our social identities could cause us to stick with people who are most like us, by sharing our social identities, we begin to see the ways in which our social identities overlap with people who on the surface seem unlike us. Understanding our social identities allows us to identify the ways in which we already feel like we’re a part of the tech industry, identify the ways we don’t yet feel that we’re a part of the tech industry, and begin to build bridges to incorporate the latter even more.

The second journal prompt for this week asks you to create your social identity map and reflect on how you bring your identity to the tech industry.

Values Mapping

When we discuss values, we’re talking about:

  • An enduring belief that a specific mode of conduct or end-state of existence is preferable over others.
  • A principle, standard, or quality considered worthwhile or desirable.
  • What drives our behavior and are directly related to job satisfaction and fulfillment.
  • We value some things more than others and these priorities affect the choices we make in life.

In order to map your values, it’s helpful to consider which are most important to you and show up in your life always compared to values that show up in only specific contexts as well as values that you don’t hold. Your third journal prompt this week asks you to sort specific values according to different categories: always valued, often valued, sometimes valued, and seldom valued.

Workview & Lifeview

When we say workview, we’re talking about what work is and what it means to you. This means summarizing what good, worthwhile work means to you, not about the work you want to do – this isn’t a job description. This is about why work matters to you.

Consider these questions:

  • Why work? Hint: after you initially respond with “to earn money,” go deeper
  • What’s work for?
  • What does work mean?
  • How does it relate to you as an individual, others, society?
  • What defines good or worthwhile work?
  • What does money have to do with it?
  • What do experience, growth, and fulfillment have to do with it?

One could argue that even with all the money and security at a person’s fingertips, they would still need work in order to fulfill their purpose. The positive psychologist Martin Seligman found that people who can make an explicit connection between their work and something socially meaningful to them are more likely to find satisfaction and are better able to adapt to the inevitable stresses and compromises that come with working.

We should also consider our lifeview, which summmarizes what you value in life. This is a summary of your ideas about the world and how it works, and this is why first understanding your social identity and values are so important.

Consider these questions:

  • Why are we here?
  • What is the meaning or purpose of life?
  • What is the relationship between the individual and others?
  • Where do family, country, and the rest of the world fit in?
  • What is good and what is evil?
  • What is the role of joy, sorrow, justice, injustice, love, peace, and strife in life?

Your last journal prompt this week asks you to reflect on both your workview and lifeview and consider how they intersect.

Synthesis

A success career vision is one that connects the dots between who you are and what you value with the career that you seek out. Aligning your workview and your lifeview will allow you to do just that where you can live a coherent life that matches your values and in which you haven’t sacrificed your integrity. Any time you feel lost, whether in your job search or in life in general, come back to your compass to get you back on track.