In this article I address three things you might want to think about, seriously consider and then evaluate before you take a new job. Having mentored many considering career changes or new positions, I wanted to share some common themes for you to consider. These are your motivation, your values and your choices. Depending on your level of passion and what drives that passion as well as your underlying values and how much they drive your choices, this will determine whether or not you should take on that new opportunity.

What is your motivation?

Many people initially seem to be motivated in part by money in our society. However research shows that this is a driving force only about 2% of the time. That is not to say that money is not important, but further research indicates that job fulfillment and curiosity are three times more likely to drive job satisfaction. Gallup found out there really was no significant increase in motivation based on pay grade. If helping others is one your underlying values, do you see the positon as something that really makes you feel fulfilled? Explore your own passions and follow those passions.

A millennial I was mentoring recently was considering a geographic as well as a career change focusing more on his college degree major. He is currently working in another field. We met and he indicated about a dozen geographic areas he would consider. We discussed each of them. I asked if he had a driving interest in any of them and he indicated no. He indicated “I could move there.” I shared with him that if he did not have a passion for any of these locations? He indicated he did not, but that he would consider the area if he were offered a position there. He did not have any passion behind any of these geographic positions. With no passion or motivation, it seemed to me that he liked to say he was interested in other geographic locations, but he was not really motivated to explore any of these geographic locations. After we discussed this he told me later that he decided not to explore positions in any of these areas. My goal was to help him sort out what it is he really wanted to do and where. From those discussions it became clear that he really did not want to move. It sounded cool to say he did, but in the end he had no passion to make this happen.

I also met with a former president of a company recently. She had been president at a closely held company for the last seven years, but with a change of ownership she was terminated. As we spoke I was a listening ear and I asked her a lot of questions relative to her interests going forward. She is talented, has great experience in her field and is exploring several opportunities and directions. Her first priority is to sort out what drives her going forward. When she determines her passion, this will drive her actions going forward, whether it is a similar position, becoming an executive coach, writing a book or some other area of interest.

What are your values?

The second question is to determine what are your most important values? I suggest you actually write out 4 to 8 of your top priorities and then evaluate these related to any alternatives you are considering. Here is list of 26 values for you to consider. Money and family life can cause serious issues, so be sure to explore these too. The value you place on money says a lot about the value you place on yourself. In short before you consider a new position based on money or prestige consider job satisfaction, meaningful relationships, and what your version of success looks like. Money does not bring happiness, but it can help. Neuroscience teaches us that happiness is enhanced when we consider (1) what we are grateful for in life, (2) we label negative feelings, (3) we realize that it is acceptable to do our best and know that was good enough, and (4) we have appropriate touch such as a hug on a regular basis from someone who loves us and we love them.

Do my values drive my choices?

If you let your core values drive your choices you will have the most fulfillment in your vocation. For example if you really don’t like networking or attending meetings, yet this is a major part of your next position, are you setting yourself up for disappointment? On the other hand if you are upper management could you let go of these to an extent and trust subordinates and others to carry out these tasks with you making more strategic decisions about when and who to network with or which meetings to attend. Could you delegate more of these activities to others to avoid micromanaging and for the development of subordinates? It is all about choices

Dennis Rock with the application of the SCARF model indicates that the more these five elements are equal to each other with others the likelihood the relationship will be stronger between individuals. SCARF stands for

  • Status, which is about relative importance to others.
  • Certainty, which concerns being able to predict the future.
  • Autonomy, which provides people a sense of control over events.
  • Relatedness, which is a sense of safety with others.
  • Fairness, which is a perception of fair exchanges between people

Think about your values and your needs to have your values met and to have good relationships with others. Think of these up, down and laterally on the organization chart as well with other stakeholders. For example consider your new boss, peers, subordinates, customers, vendors, suppliers and other stakeholders perceptions of how they will interact with you in your new environment and how comfortable you will be with your values in that environment.

We are not shaped by our experiences but be reflecting on our experiences. Reflect on yours in light of this information and in light of any new potential position. Why are you motivated to consider the position? What are your core values? How do your core values drive your choices? How much of your happiness is formulated by having good relationships with others at work and how will these relationships cause any concerns in your home life or with other interests? Hopefully this information may help you in evaluating your next potential position and help you avoid conflict in your future.

Michael Gregory, NSA, ASA, CVA, MBA is an international speaker, that helps organization resolve conflict and negotiate winning solutions. Mike is dedicated to making individuals, organizations, thought-leading entrepreneurs and executives more successful. Michael’s books, including The Servant Manager, How to Work with the IRS, Second Edition and his most recent book, now also available as an eBook, Peaceful Resolutions are available at this link.  On point resources are available online at and check out the blog. Contact Mike directly at or call (651) 633-5311. 

About the author

Mike Gregory is a professional speaker, an author, and a mediator. You may contact Mike directly at and at (651) 633-5311. Mike has written 12 books (and co-authored two others) including his latest book, The Collaboration Effect: Overcoming Your Conflicts, and The Servant Manager, Business Valuations and the IRS, and Peaceful Resolutions that you may find helpful. [Michael Gregory, ASA, CVA, MBA, Qualified Mediator with the Minnesota Supreme Court]