What are “Values” and Why are Values Important in Career Exploration?

Here are some thoughts on an important topic: What are “Values” and why are values important in Career Exploration?

What are "Values" and Why are Values Important in Career Exploration?

What are “Values” and Why are Values Important in Career Exploration?

Sometimes homeschooling parents and their homeschool high schoolers feel perplexed by a seemingly contradictory discussion about Career Exploration:

  • One one hand, we encourage our teens: How can you identify and develop your gifts and interests?
  • On the other hand, we encourage our teens to think practically: What career will pay the bills, support a family and support the work of God in the world?

The social media world calls this the battle between:

  • Career *passions*       versus
  • Career *possibilities*

As a mom of 5 homeschool graduates, almost 2 decades of advising homeschool high schoolers and a professional Career Coach, may I address this “battle”?

In the idea of *passions* vs *possibilities* homeschool high schoolers who have studied philosophy or critical thinking will notice a *forced dichotomy* (or another term: *false dilemma*).

A forced dichotomy forces things that are not at all at odds with each other, to appear as if they are at odds with each other. A silly example would be: If I was a classical homeschooler and you were a Charlotte Mason homeschooler and I decided that YOU were not REALLY a homeschooler because you educated your children with a different method. In reality, homeschoolers are simply people who educate their children from a home base, no matter what the method.

Career passions are not *against* career possibilities! That is a forced dichotomy!

Career Values: What's Important to Me? 7SistersHomeschool.com
Click here for information on 7Sisters’ Career Exploration curriculum.

What is a the center of the debate is the idea of Career Values. Simply put: Career Values are “What’s important to me?”

As homeschool high schoolers pray about their future and learn about themselves, they need to seriously examine the idea of values. Career values describe what is actually important to a person.

You and your teens should discuss ideas like, the level of importance they place on:

  • Time for community and church involvement?
  • Having money for big vacations?
  • Dedicated time for dinner together as a family?
  • Climbing the ladder of success?
  • Having a big house?
  • A college education? (and how much of a college education is important to me?)
  • Having a simple, structured work environment?
  • Working with my hands?
  • Job security?
  • Having a simple life with simple funding of expenses?
  • Contributing to a field of expertise?
  • Changing the world?

Each of these are career values

These values affect which careers will be a good fit. For instance:

  • A homeschool high schooler who most highly values job security, easy employability and paying the bills will be satisfied in a number of careers.
  • On the other hand, a teen who values climbing the success ladder will need to chose a career that allows upward mobility.

Then, once teens have thought about their career values, they can visit Career One Stop.

Career One Stop helps young people evaluate the careers that have a good possibility of job availability.

These are called  *Bright Futures* careers (those with the highest job availability in the near future) and pick one of those careers.

A homeschool high schooler who was born with powerful interests and/or high-level talents or giftedness, will probably most highly value careers that allow them to explore and invest in their passions and giftedness, even if that means LOTS of education or not-quite-so-much income.

On the other hand, teens who just need a simple life with simple interests, have lots of options, too. Discussing career values will help clarify their goals.

Neither of these choices are wrong. As we 7Sisters say: There’s not ONE right way to homeschool…thus, there’s not ONE right way to choose a career!

I encourage you to help your teens think and pray through these important choices and to provide a good Career Exploration course for them. A good Career Exploration course includes a look at Values. That’s why 7Sisters’ Career Exploration textbook has been so popular: We spend time on “What’s important to me?”

Here are some ideas for courses that count as Career Exploration.

Why not download a copy of Career Exploration textbook for your homeschool high schoolers?


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What are “Values” and Why are Values Important in Career Exploration?


Vicki Tillman

Blogger, curriculum developer at 7SistersHomeschool.com, counselor, life and career coach, SYMBIS guide, speaker, prayer person. 20+year veteran homeschool mom.

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