Is Your Work Aligned with Your Values?

Is Your Work Aligned with Your Values- Header

Freelancers really value their freedom. A survey conducted by Freelancers Union last year found that right behind earning extra money, the most common reason for going freelance was to have scheduling flexibility.

As important as flexibility is to designing a joyful and fulfilling life as a freelancer, what is equally important to me is being able to choose what I work on—to align my work with my values and vision for a better planet.

In a recent article, Minda Zetlin, co-author of The Geek Gap, shares two questions she was asked by a career coach:

  1. Why do you do what you do?
  2. How does that choice express your values?

The questions seem simple enough, but give them some thought and you’ll find that they require some soul searching.

When Zetlin realized she didn’t have answers to the questions, she went home and brainstormed her motivations for doing what she does, and discovered that she needed to adjust her priorities.

Her story is good food for thought. In my own freelance life, I’m incredibly grateful that I get to write about things I’m passionate about: community, the commons, freelancing, coworking, music. My work is aligned with my values and I consider that a huge win.

I don’t say that lightly, or boastfully. I spent A LOT of years working for other people, doing work that suited my interests but didn’t spark my soul in any meaningful way. As a freelancer steering my own ship, I’m able to choose to work on projects that inspire me both as a writer and as a human being. I feel like I’ve been liberated.

I’m going to give Zetlin’s questions more thought and look for ways to further align my work with my values.

What about you? Why do you do the work you do?

Photo: Evil Erin (CC-BY-20)