Work values determine which characteristics feel essential or important for you to have in the day-to-day activities you perform in your work. People are happier at work when their work values are aligned with their career/job.
The first steps in evaluating your work values are to name them and to prioritize them. It is unlikely that you will get everything you want all at once, so you have to be willing to decide what is MOST important to you.
Some values are mutually exclusive, meaning if you have one, you are unlikely to have another, at least during the same period of time. Examples of mutually exclusive value pairs are Fast Pace vs. Leisurely Pace, Privacy vs. Recognition, and Change vs. Predictability.
Here’s how to use this list.
– Skim the list once through.
– Quickly choose the FIVE values most important to you.
– Look for any contradictions between the values and reflect on what it means if you want two things that usually don’t go together.
– Of the five you chose, rank them from most important to least important.
– Notice which value is MOST important to you.
– Keep these values in mind when you evaluate work opportunities.
A definite feeling of accomplishment about the outcome
Ability to continually move ahead in your career, gaining income, power, and/or status as you go
Have unusual, exciting, and potentially risky experiences, usually in various geographic locations
Affiliation / Belonging
Membership with a group of people with similar mission, values, and goals
Involvement in artistic endeavors in some way
The ability to be yourself
Autonomy / Freedom
The freedom to do work in your own way
Being in a position to command
Work involving attractive people, places, or things
Camaraderie / Friendship
Spend lots of time making friends and socializing with co-workers
Lots of difficult demands in terms of time, results, etc.
Participating in frequently evolving and dynamic situations
Making the world a better place by helping individuals, groups, and/or the larger society
Situations in which you compare yourself with others in ways that result in clear wins and losses
Ample opportunity to express yourself via new communication, programs, processes, etc.
A culture that values people and is committed to developing their talents
Be viewed as a person who is on the cutting edge of knowledge in some area
Being known to large numbers of people
Circumstances in which work must be done rapidly
Choosing your own work hours
Ability to concentrate highly on one specific thing or area at a time
Being around attractive, exciting people or events
Work that has a global impact
Using manual dexterity
Providing assistance directly to individual persons or groups
Earning a significant amount of money
Changing and/or persuading people
Being on the cutting edge of methods, ideas, products, etc.
Honesty and upholding your moral/ethical principles
Using self-motivation and drive
Ensuring fairness for people and situations
Acquiring information and wisdom
Leading people or projects at the strategic visionary level
Continually mastering new information or skills
Circumstances in which work can be done slowly
Location Independence (Portability)
Working from any geographic location of your choice
Management of People
Directing the work of others
Knowing most of what there is to know about a subject
Doing work that feels like it matters
Arranging or maintaining things in a particular sequence, pattern, or method
Outdoors / Nature
Opportunity to be outdoors or in nature
Peacefulness / Harmony
Serene settings w/ an absence or minimum amount of conflict
Work that involves physical strength, speed, skill, etc.
Official authority and/or strength to enforce policies, laws, etc.
Requiring detail and has measurable right-or-wrong components
Certainty and reliability about what is coming next
Being relatively anonymous
Solving complex problems
Sequence of tasks with a definite beginning and end
Getting positive feedback and credit for doing a good job
Predictable work with few surprises
Work that uses the scientific method to advances the knowledge in a particular field
Stable, steady work that is relatively guaranteed to continue
Having straightforward tasks that are easy to understand
Being highly interactive with other people
Being alone a lot
Impressing other people because of high prestige
Having highly systematized work
Working in groups rather than alone
Using computers or other types of technology
Open communication throughout an organization, from the top on down
Going to varying geographic locations
Being able to trust managers, peers, and subordinates (and being trusted in return)
Accomplishing something necessary and valuable
Doing different things on an hourly, daily, weekly, or other basis
Building financial well-being beyond an annual income
Having a personally optimal blend of personal and work pursuits