Choosing a Career of Humanity

For this month’s lifeskill, Career/Money Management, the following words by Martin Luther King, Jr. offer us a clear mantle for living our core values both professionally and personally. You will then be a better doctor, better lawyer, better teacher, better husband, wife, father, mother.

“Whatever career you may choose for yourself—doctor, lawyer, teacher—let me propose an avocation to be pursued along with it . . . Make a career of humanity. Commit yourself to the noble struggle for human rights. You will make a greater person of yourself, a greater nation of your country and a finer world to live in.”

King also declared “. . . It will enrich your spirit as nothing else possibly can. It will give you that rare sense of nobility that can only spring from love and selflessly helping your fellow man.” His words come from the heart borne of his parents’ passionate Christian faith, his own faith life journey, and passion for human justice.

Career, Finances, Core Values Inseparable

When choosing a career, know this . . . finances and core values are inseparable. Are your core values driving how you use your resources and assets toward choosing a career? Does your career not only provide a livelihood for yourself but also service to others? Are you making room for your career goals and managing your money to support those professional and personal life goals? On the flip side, are your career goals being met at the cost of your personal wellbeing and family life? Again, wherever you spend your money is where you spend your time & life!

Hopefully, with your core values in the center, you will choose a career that fuels your life purpose, passion, and personality without losing sight of those who are important in your life. Yet, we all know the road getting there is not always a straight or level one.

Stephen R. Covey, well-known author of the 10 million plus classic seller, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, researched all literature from 1776 written about success. He noticed a startling pattern emerging from the mass of publications. Almost all literature of the first 150 years focused on what Covey defines as the Character Ethic—as the foundation for success. The qualities most prevalent were integrity, humility, fidelity, temperance, courage, justice, patience, industry, simplicity, modesty, and the Golden Rule. This Character Ethic taught there are basic principles of effective living, and that people can only experience true success and enduring happiness as they learn and integrate these principles into their basic character.

What Covey also discovered was “In more than twenty-five years of working with people in business, university, and marriage and family settings, I have come in contact with many individuals who have achieved an incredible degree of outward success, but have found themselves struggling with an inner hunger, a deep need for personal congruency and effectiveness and for healthy, growing relationships with other people.”

Key Guideposts

Since we all know the road in life will not always be straight or level, we need to gain a forward glimpse into some clues that will help us navigate what‘s ahead. With your core values or key principles setting the foundation, consider these eight guideposts for integrating your career, finances, and core values:

  • Lasting career rewards are not calculated in dollars. Satisfaction comes from building a career or business without selling your soul.
  • Loving your work by living your core values at work and home.
  • Being content when the good times roll and when the bad times linger.
  • Being a team player that can lead and follow.
  • Being genuinely benevolent that requires no applause.
  • Seeking as well as giving support and encouragement routinely, not just in crisis.
  • Being a life-long learner of truth and wisdom.
  • Integrating your faith as an essential part of your personal and career life. No matter the environment, it may not be easy, but is certainly possible.

These eight guideposts expand your capacity for living your core values. They bring you balance, consistency, contentment, collaboration, generosity, kindness, wisdom, and transcending meaning to your life.

21st Century Career Skills

There are basically seventeen foundation skills needed no matter what career you may choose as offered by Lawrence K. Jones of Career Key.

17 Foundation Skills required in 21st century high-performance workplaces

Basic SkillsReading, Writing, Mathematics, Speaking, Listening
Thinking SkillsCreative thinking, Problem-solving skills, Decision-making skills, Visualization
People SkillsSocial, Negotiation, Leadership, Teamwork, Cultural diversity
Personal QualitiesSelf-esteem, Self-management, Responsibility

As you consider these key principles, guideposts, and 21st century career skills, may you discover your dream career you love so much you would almost feel guilty being paid for it!

For the next article in this month’s lifeskill, the focus will be on your current job – Love it or Want to Leave It? In addition, basic money management principles and practices will be offered. In the meantime, check out the following helpful resources for listing your job skills, 2022 career trends, and DISC personality assessment products helping you home in on career matches for your personality behavioral style.

Helpful Resources