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Values At Work

In my previous newsletter I mentioned values as being an important part of work. This newsletter expands on that idea and gives you an exercise to clarify your own values as they relate to your work.

Values are those things that are important or desirable to us. We act to get those things in many ways. Working in an organization that shares your values can lead to happiness and achievement. And when for some reason we can’t access our values we can feel frustrated and left out.

It’s important to know just what your values are, so that you can be clear about what may be present or lacking in your work. If your values are not consistent with the company you work for, for example, you could feel that you “can’t be yourself” at work.

My Critical Work Values

Some values commonly expressed are listed below. Rank each of the listed values as (1) not present, (2) moderately present, or (3) very present in your choice of career.

___ Enjoyment (having fun at what you do)

___ Helping other people (in a direct way)

___ Friendships (developing close relationships with co-workers)

___ Helping society (contributing to the betterment of the world)

___ Freedom (flexible schedule, independence)

___ Recognition (being acknowledged for your work in a tangible way)

___ Creativity (having the opportunity to express your ideas and yourself in your work; innovation)

___ Location (being able to live where you choose

___ Competition (matching your abilities with others’)

___ Power and authority (being in managerial or leadership position; being responsible
for supervising others; having decision-making authority)

___ Achievement (accomplishing desired objective; mastery)

___ Compensation (receiving money and other benefits commensurate with services rendered)

___ Variety (having a mix of tasks to perform and people to interact with during each day)

___ Security (a feeling of stability, no worry; certainty)

___ Prestige (being seen as successful; obtaining recognition and status)

___ Aesthetics (attractiveness of work environment; contributing to beauty of the world)

___ Morality and ethics (working and living according to a code or set of rules; enhancing world

___ Intellectual stimulation (working in an environment that encourages and stimulates thinking)

___ Public contact (working with others, as opposed to working alone or working with objects only)

___ Pace (busy versus relaxed working atmosphere)

___ Risk (monetary or other risks – e.g., new product development or start-up enterprise)

___ Others that are important to you:




How many of these values have you marked as 3, or “Very Present”? And how many for 1, “Not Present” and 2 “Moderately Present? There are 21 values presented here, so the highest overall score is 63. The mid-point is 32. Look at your own overall score and also look at those values that you marked 1. What changes could you make in your work to better be able to use your values?

(Adapted from Marcia Bench)