People expect to achieve certain ideals from their jobs employers and careers. These workplace values concepts and ideas that you hold dear have a direct impact on your satisfaction with your job with your career and even with your life. When you understand the values you cherish most highly you can make an evaluation about whether your current employer (or a prospective employer) supports those values. And if you are considering a career change understanding your values is critical to identifying a new career path.
How well do you know your workplace values? If you’re like most people you may have done some self-assessment years ago when you were first starting out in your career but have you taken the time recently to stop and see who and where you are now? After several job changes and promotions are you still doing the kind of work that really suits you? After several ownership changes mergers and acquisitions are you really with the type of company (with upper management) that respects and rewards your values? As you begin thinking about a job or career change have you really spent the time thinking about the right job and right employer for what you value — and what you need in your life? Perhaps it is time for a work values check-up.
Feel like you’ve gone down this path before? Many career experts talk about the importance of self-assessment but you can easily get lost in the glitz (or length) of the many career aptitude and other self-assessment tests in print and on the Web. Perhaps you have even spent some time examining your interests desires and lifestyles in an attempt to find a better fit. These activities are all very useful but the one aspect of self-assessment that often gets overlooked is an examination of what you value in your job your careers and your work.
Workplace Values Exercise
Here’s the premise. Before you even think about continuing with this exercise make sure you have plenty of free time to spend with it; time to think and reflect on what you truly value. Are you ready?
Your first step it to rate the importance of each of the workplace values on our list. We’ve left a few blank lines at the end of our list in case we have missed something that you value in your work. Finally be sure to be honest with yourself; no one is judging nor scoring your results so lying to yourself does no good.
Rate the degree of importance that you place on each of the following workplace values using this scale:
1 = Very important to me
2 = Reasonably important to me
3 = Somewhat important to me
4 = Not important to me at all
- I am interested in jobs and careers that include:
_____ creating/building things
_____ mental challenge/mentally demanding/problem-solving
_____ physical challenge/physically demanding
_____ opportunity for balance between work life and family life
_____ flexibility in work structure
_____ intellectual status an acknowledged “expert” in a given field
_____ order and structure
_____ high degree of competition
_____ integrity and truth
_____ rewarding loyalty and dependability
_____ having self-respect and pride in work
_____ stability and security
_____ strong financial compensation and financial rewards
_____ being recognized for quality of work in a visible/public way
_____ having a positive impact on others and society
_____ using creativity imagination; being innovative
_____ variety and a changing work pace
_____ professional development and on-going learning and growth
_____ friendships and warm working relationships
_____ teamwork and work groups
_____ glamour prestige respect or a level of social status
_____ routine predictable work projects
_____ deadlines and time demand/pressure challenges
_____ clear advancement tracks/opportunities for advancement
_____ tranquility comfort and avoidance of pressure
_____ dealing with the public/day-to-day contact with the public
_____ using cutting edge or pioneering technologies or techniques
_____ opportunities for supervision power leadership influence
_____ making decisions having power to decide courses of action
_____ respect recognition being valued
_____ autonomy independence freedom
_____ precision work with little tolerance for error
_____ adventure and excitement
Your second step is to try and identify the 10 most important values to you. Circle each of these most important values from the list above.
Your third step is to now narrow down your list of 10 to the five core values you hold most sacred — that you can’t live without in your job/workplace — and place them below:
Congratulations! You now have a list of core workplace value that represent who you are… it is this core group of workplace values that help determine your level of satisfaction with your job and your career — and which should be used to judge the level of “fit” with any future job company or career change.
Now comes the tougher part. How well do your core values fit with your current job career path and employer — and what if anything are you going to do about these results?
Once you’ve completed this assessment you may wish to further examine your life and career by writing or revisiting your personal mission statement. Review our article: Using a Personal Mission Statement to Chart Your Career Course.
And finally you may want to take a strategic examination of yourself by completing a SWOT analysis. Review our article: Using a SWOT Analysis in Your Career Planning
Best of luck — and be sure to take advantage of all the career and job resources Quintessential Careers offers you!
Other Workplace Values Resources
Here are a couple of other very good resources on workplace and career values:
- Whare Are Your Career Values? — an in-depth review from the Boston University Counseling Center.
- Know Yourself Values Worksheet — from George Mason University Career Services.
Questions about some of the terminology used in this article? Get more information (definitions and links) on key college career and job-search terms by going to our Job-Seeker’s Glossary of Job-Hunting Terms.
Dr. Randall S. Hansen is founder of Quintessential Careers one of the oldest and most comprehensive career development sites on the Web as well CEO of EmpoweringSites.com. He is also founder of MyCollegeSuccessStory.com and EnhanceMyVocabulary.com. He is publisher of Quintessential Careers Press including the Quintessential Careers electronic newsletter QuintZine. Dr. Hansen is also a published author with several books chapters in books and hundreds of articles. He’s often quoted in the media and conducts empowering workshops around the country. Finally Dr. Hansen is also an educator having taught at the college level for more than 15 years. Visit his personal Website or reach him by email at randall(at)quintcareers.com. Check out Dr. Hansen on GooglePlus.
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