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CareerBound Workshop Asks Students to Consider their Core Values

Monday, November 29, 2021

What do you value most in your professional life?

When considering this question, be authentic, says Sarah Ratekin, director of the Krannert School of Management’s CareerBound, a career readiness program for undergraduates.  

Ratekin took students on a self-reflective journey during a recent CareerBound workshop, “Defining Your Core Values.” Those gathered in a Rawls Hall classroom were asked to consider their core values, where those values come from, and why it is important those values align with your employer’s values.

It’s important to define your values and watch out for employers who are unclear about their values, Ratekin says.

“Until you know [your core values], you can’t assess a company as a good fit,” she says. 

She had the workshop participants list their top 20 values -- teamwork, trust, ethics, or innovation, for example – and then pare the list down to three to get to what is at a person’s core. Ratekin also provided a second worksheet for students to do in the future to see how their values have changed.

“No one has all the answers on their core values,” she says. “Everyone will have moments in life that change you and your core values.”

Ratekin is a Navy veteran and doctoral student researching the intersection of positivity and organizational performance in workplace settings. She is also the founder and Chief Happiness Officer of Happiness is Courage Inc., and shared personal stories with the students. She described a company that relied on high mortality rates to be successful. Ratekin knew that company was not the right place for her.

“If your values and your employers’ values are in conflict, you are not going to be happy,” she says.

Students left the October session with a worksheet detailing their personal core values. The workshop is just one of many offerings each school year that aids students in their professional development. Learn more about Krannert’s CareerBound.