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Workplace Values Assessment: Do You Know the Work Values You Most Want in a Job and an Employer -- and Does Your Current Employment Reflect Those Values?
A Quintessential Careers Quiz


by Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D.


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:
1. ________________________________________
2. ________________________________________
3. ________________________________________
4. ________________________________________
5. ________________________________________


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?


Next Steps
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:



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. Founder Dr. Randall Hansen 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 He is also founder of and 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) Check out Dr. Hansen on GooglePlus.


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