What are your work values? How does your current work uphold or conflict with your values? To what extent do your values influence your career plans?  

  • Our work values underpin how we decide what is important to us, how we experience a workplace, how we react to situations and opportunities, and how we make career choices. They often go unspoken and can lead to misunderstandings or even conflict. For example: getting things done as quickly as reasonable vs getting things done to the highest possible standard, making a difference vs making a profit, focusing on detail vs focusing on the big picture. 
  • Using the downloadable Work values list (pdf) identify your work values. Start by ticking all the values which resonate with you – the ones which feel important and which you want your career to uphold. Then make forced choices: whittle the list down to no more than eight. Then whittle it down to no more than five. Then decide on your top three essential work values. 
  • Careers are often about choices – from comparatively small choices about whether to get involved in a particular initiative or take a certain opportunity, to big choices about applying for jobs and moving employers. Sometimes, practical considerations will be foremost in your choices; on other occasions, you might make a choice based on your values. Similarly, you might choose to deprioritise activities which are neither essential nor upholding your values. 

Previous and next