What is a workplace value?
Your workplace values, are the things that go beyond your skill set and interest in a position. Ultimately, they will determine what will provide long term job satisfaction and a clear direction on which companies and positions to pursue when job searching. Determining these values sooner will ease your transition into the workforce because your job will be more than a paycheck, it will be apart of your lifestyle.
How do I find out what my values are?
If you are in still in school or have little work experience, I would suggest taking an assessment. I enjoyed the simplicity of the My Plan assessment. By organizing series of statements from most to least important, you are given some great initial feedback on what your values are as well as how your scores compare to various career choices. The assessment is free but there are some additional tests that you are able to purchase for around $10. I also like the checklist that Monster.com utilizes. You won’t receive any in depth analysis of your skills, but it’s another free tool that you can use pretty quickly to get started.
If you have a little more work experience, I would use that to determine what you value. Before leaving any position, I took time to evaluate what specific things in my role or workplace that weren’t working for me. It could be your pay, working for a micromanager, or even that you have no time to tend to personal matters like going to the doctor. Then make a list of all the things that do work. For example, you may work tirelessly through the year but you get a three week vacation on top of any other time you’ve accrued. The more honest you can be in this process, the better.
How do I incorporate my values into my job search?
When you are clear on what you want out of your next position, it will begin to narrow the positions you apply and interview for. If driving an hour to work is not something you value, then you now have a more focused search area. You’ll have a better insight into a company’s culture and how their overall values compare to yours as well. Fun fact! I last looked over my work values almost a year ago, when I really researched the company I was already employed with I noticed in big letters on their website that they place the customer above all else. While in most minds, that sounds great, in mine, all I could think was “no wonder everyone working here is so unhappy”. I enjoy delivering great service, but I’m also a believer that the customer isn’t always right. I worked for three years with a boss that believed the same versus the 3 months I stayed with the aforementioned company.
The more you work to learn and find yourself, the easier finding the right position will be. It all takes time so be patient with yourself, acknowledge your growth, and feel free to change as many times as necessary to find your happiness. When you find the right role, you’ll know.