A value is what we recognize as important and what we use to make important choices.
A work value is what you want from your work. Here’s a list of 12 work values:
- Achievement: Having a job where I can know or see that I have accomplished something. Having a feeling of success in the workplace.
- Moral Fulfillment: Feeling that my work is contributing to ideals I feel are very important.
- Challenge: Having a job that tests what I already know and keeps me learning. A job that is not routine and keeps me mentally sharp.
- Variety: Having a job that is not routine, and allows me to do many different things. A job that may have a wide range of duties.
- Independence: Having a job where I might be my own boss, or where I am trusted to make decisions on my own and not have to report to someone on a regular basis.
- Supervise Others: Having a job in which I am directly responsible for work done by others.
- Safe and Comfortable Environment: Having a job where my safety is not a concern. A job that allows me to work in a clean and comfortable setting.
- Job Tranquility: Avoiding pressure and the “rat race” in my job role and work setting.
- Job Security: Having a job that I know I will be able to keep and won’t have to worry about getting laid off. Working for a company that is stable.
- High Income: Having a job that will pay me a top wage, and allow me to live the way I want.
- Prestige: Having a job where I am looked up to whether in the workplace or in a social setting. A job that is important and people respect me.
- Work-Life Balance: Having a job that allow me to have time for family or friends and provides me enough time off for leisure activities. A job that does not compete with my personal time.
Work values clarification is the process by which you can figure out what work values are most important to you. You can use these most-important values to help you choose between competing occupations and, later, competing job offers from different organizations.
Your next task is to complete the Work Values Ranking Activity, where you will rank these 12 work values from most to least important to you. Before starting this activity, download the “Applying Work Values” Microsoft Word document (if you prefer, you can download the document in .pdf format instead). You will record the results of the Activity in this document (be sure to save your edits to the document). Once you’re done with the Activity, you’ll automatically be redirected to this webpage. Here’s the link to the Work Values Ranking Activity.
Welcome back! Now that you know your rankings, you can use the instructions in the document to give letter grades to each of the occupations on your Roster based on how well (or poorly) they match your top 3 or 4 work values.
By the way, if you want to do a more in-depth card sort (which can be enjoyable but the results can be hard to apply in concrete ways to the career exploration process), I recommend University of Minnesota’s Online Values Card Sort.
After you’ve used your top work values to eliminate additional occupations from your Roster, you can proceed to considering Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) personality.
Here’s a video example of how a person with career counseling training used work values to further narrow her Roster: