Values at work, and finding the role, industry and culture for YOU

As part of Action4Agriculture’s NCI funding ACTION4YOUTH provides 21st century skills training to our Young Farming Champion mentors, careers advisors, students (the next generation employees) and our prospective employers.

Annie Simpson from Modern People 

With a background combining psychology, business strategy, recruitment and human resources, Annie explained how our values underpin everything we do and, as values differ from person to person, how they determine individual attitudes and behaviours.

“We are constantly seeking harmony in how we believe and how we see things. Values are deeply important to the future of work, and the next generation of leaders,” Annie said

The workshop, included sessions on:

  • The power of Values and what matters most
  • Exploring leading Values frameworks in positive psychology
  • Understanding your own Values, and connecting them to your work and life
  • Values at work, and finding the role, industry and culture for YOU
  • Australia’s top values, and how our values changed through the COVID pandemic
  • 7 Traits of Change Readiness and how they show up
  • How to embrace change, and grow for the better

Annie believes understanding values is important for young people as they consider potential careers.

“People of all ages, but particularly our youth, are looking for clarity and direction. How can we look outside of social pressures, grades and qualifications to find purposeful and meaningful work? I think the workshop participants enjoyed understanding that something so deeply embedded within us can help guide us to the roles and industries that will give us fulfilment. This knowledge empowers them to know what to look for, to ask impactful questions of future employers, and to better understand their uniqueness in the world of work,” she said.

Though agriculture traditionally is thought of as a conformist industry, external influences beyond the control of the farmer and the boom-and-bust nature of the industry actually make agriculture a sector for those willing to take risks and be predictive in strategy.

“The industry requires a degree of change readiness and a tolerance for ambiguity. Values like self-direction, stimulation, and hedonism are suited to an industry like this and are often driven by personal goals and self-motivation.”

Yet agriculture’s diversity means there is a place for everyone.

“There are plenty of roles that exist to help and support others and the planet (self-transcendent values), roles that are complex, intelligent and outcomes driven (self-enhancement values), and more process-driven and governance focused roles (conservation values). Understanding your values gives you the insight and self-awareness to seek out these roles throughout the agriculture industry.”

The young people moving through the ACTION4YOUTH program have come from diverse education systems and backgrounds and training sessions such as Annie’s are critical to show that traditional pathways to careers are not the only way.

“We are each unique. Our values help us to define our own path to purposeful and fulfilling work and these workshops help us question where we are and where we are going and help us set goals for the future.”

Thanks to NCI funding ACTION4YOUTH can continue to provide participants and facilitators with training opportunities and support young people from all backgrounds and experiences to thrive in a career in agriculture.

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