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Values Check-Up

Do you know the things that are important to you? People often do, although they may struggle with putting their values into words. This exercise will help you to define what is important to you regarding work and help you to decide what kinds of jobs you will look for or companies that you will consider.

Line up your personal values with those at work. For example, if one of your values is about being paid what you are worth and you work somewhere that pays everyone the same wage no matter how much work they do, your values don’t match those of the organization. You might have a minor problem with this initially, but over time you become cynical as you see others paid the same as you without working as hard. On the other hand, if you value the idea that teamwork and team efforts help the company do well, you may not have difficulty with having everyone paid the same wage.

In your learner’s guide is a list of some commonly held values. Read each statement and then rank each value 1 to 3, with 1 being not important, 2 quite important, and 3 very important.


When you have finished going through the list, pick out no more than five of the values that you marked as very important and circle them. Make sure there are no more than five. Those five top values should be an accurate reflection of your core values, the things that you are most focused on, which influence your decisions and the things that you do. These five core values are important to keep in mind as you go through your job search.

Write those core values in your learner’s guide.


Now think about your current (or last) job for a moment. Of your top five core values, how many did the job fulfil?

List those in your learner’s guide. Your list may be short if you weren’t happy in your last job.


Your answers may give you a very important insight if you ever felt unsettled or dissatisfied with that job.

Still thinking about your core values, complete the statements in your learner’s guide. “I work because. . . . . I want the following things out of my work.” There are no right and wrong answers, so include the things that feel right for you.
When you are ready, move ahead to the next unit.