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Work Values Play a Key Role in Ensuring Job Satisfaction

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By Roxanne Ferreira
Career Coach, APUS

The best piece of career advice I ever received was “honor your values.” At the time, I had no idea that work values played a key role in job satisfaction. I had chosen my career path, like many others do, based on what I was good at.

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However, just because you have the skills to do something doesn’t mean it’s the right fit for you. Other times, you might find a career you love, but you’re not happy with the work environment. Also, let’s not forget that there is a crucial link between job satisfaction and productivity. If you can find satisfying work, you are more likely to achieve success.

Understanding Your Work Values Is Important

Values are part of who we are. Understanding your work values is important because it is the first step to identifying a satisfying career. Employers look for specific values in candidates to find the right fit for the position and the organization as a whole.

You should be doing the same while you search for jobs. Use your work values to help determine what work environment and employer is right for you. Finding a position at a company whose values align with your own can be what seals the deal for you and the hiring manager, leading to satisfaction and success.

Identifying the Qualities You Value

You can start to identify your work values by considering your employment history. What have you liked and disliked about past positions? Take a self-assessment and research common work values, such as the ones outlined on O*NET.

Make a list of the values that resonate with you. These may include things like:

  • Honesty
  • Work-life balance
  • Strong work ethic
  • Open communication
  • Creativity
  • Growth or continued learning

Use Work Values to Refine Your Job Search

Research organizations before you apply so you can use your values to refine your job search. Search a company’s website, read its LinkedIn page, and talk with current or former employees.

Employers often have a published list of values they want in their employees. You might also get a sense of their values within their mission or vision statements. Review the job announcement to see if the position matches your values. Mention how your work values align with the position and organization in your cover letter or during your interview.

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We spend a great deal of our lives working. When you are able to honor your values each day, your career will be more fulfilling.

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