How Karen’s Work Values Shaped Her Career Choice
Karen’s work values began to form early in her life. She remembers when her grandmother, who had a bedroom downstairs in their house, had a stroke while going down the stairs, and landed at the bottom with a broken hip.

She was only 8 years old, when it happened. She remembers coming home after school and not being able to find Grandma, and then finding her barely conscious. She had been there all day. She couldn’t get up. She couldn’t move. She was cold and pale and weak when Karen found her. But she also saw the look of love and relief and trust in Grandma’s eyes when she knelt down beside her.

Saving Grandma’s Life
Karen ran and phoned 911 and was told to make Grandma comfortable and not to move her. While she waited for the paramedics to arrive, she got a pillow to put under Grandma’s head. She got a glass of water and dabbed her lips to keep them moist, because Grandma couldn’t drink from a glass. She put a blanket around her to try and keep her warm. When her mother got home, after the paramedics had arrived, she hugged Karen and told her “You saved Grandma’s life”. How good it felt to be able to help someone in need!

She remembers going to the hospital and seeing all the nurses and doctors in their white uniforms. They were friendly and efficient and smiled at the brave little girl who had saved her Grandmother’s life. Karen grew up feeling capable, and confident in her ability to help others. She had compassion for the sick, the elderly and those in trouble. She wanted to do all she could to help them.

Saving a Toddler’s Life
When she was twelve, she was on her balcony on the back of her house, watching a party next door, when she saw a toddler fall into their pool. She quickly realized that no one was watching, they were all ignoring what had happened.

Karen raced over and pointed out the child lying in the water face down. Someone jumped in and brought his lifeless body up and laid it on the side of the pool. But no one knew what else to do while waiting for the ambulance to arrive.

Karen had learned First Aid as a Girl Scout and was able to take charge applying what she’d learned. Again she saw that look of gratitude in the mother’s eyes. The toddler survived.

Licensed to Heal
Karen could hardly wait to finish medical school and graduated at the top of her class. Becoming a doctor gave her a license to help people.

Every day brought her more opportunities to help heal the sick and suffering. At the end of a day, she would come home tired, but with a wonderful feeling of satisfaction inside. Thinking back over the day, she’d recall the faces of those she was able to comfort, to bring some relief, some hope to.

Her patients sent her thank you cards and gifts of appreciation. Her work was her life, her passion.

Karen’s Ideal Workplace


Karen’s Work Values: Helping Others, Achievement, Flexibility
Karen seemed to be unaware of her work values. But she was lucky. She was people-oriented and her passion to help people was focused into the health field early on. Her values were developed through a series of events in her early life, where she was in a position to help when no one else could. She experienced her own power to make a difference in people’s lives.

Can you recall times in your life when you were able to influence others, or to help them in some way? How did that make you feel?

As a young girl, Karen had experienced the deep personal satisfaction of helping people in need: her grandmother and a neighbor’s child.

She learned First Aid skills and spontaneously applied them in a practical setting. She was alert and adaptable to the challenges of life around her, and responsive to the demands of health crises. Health care seemed like a natural choice for her.

Looking back on incidents like these in our lives can often point out a career direction.

Karen may have a long and productive career as a Physician. She may never choose to move out of that field, because all of her Highest Work Values, are consistent with and being supported in and through her work.

Other Options Open to Karen
With more awareness of her Work Values she might have considered other fields of interest that required the same qualities, and her choices would have been broader. For example, she may have explored her interest in helping people in emergency situations and become a Paramedic.

Her interest in Health Care could have taken other directions – and it still can. The door is not closed on other careers. Research into the different kinds of Health Care Careers can turn up new possibilities that Karen may choose to follow in years to come.


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