2. Decide what is important to you in a workplace

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What do you want from a job? Sure, money and following your passion is great. But real job satisfaction goes much deeper than that.

Finding work that meets your values will feel more meaningful, meaning you invest greater energy into the work and achieve greater success in your role.

When you think about your ideal job, think about what stands out to you as important. Is it the environment you’re working in? The people you work with? The workplace culture? 

Your career values or work values can help you decide whether to take a potential job, seek out a position at a particular company, and determine what is most meaningful to you.

Ask yourself: what do I want from a job?

Maybe you dream of helping others or having the space to be creative, or maybe you’d like a work-life balance that allows you to invest in your family and friends as much as your career. Maybe you want prestige and money or flexibility and independence. 

Career values vary from person to person and your own career values will change as you enter different life phases. Understanding what matters most to you right now will help you say yes to the right opportunities.

To help identify some career values, look at the list of values below and rate which ones matter most to you.

The following list captures examples of some of these types of values:

You can also use this list to generate ideas for different types of jobs or positions to explore if you're in the midst of a job search, and flesh out your resume by adding a few in your resume's employment objective section and in your cover letter.

Before we jump into the next section, let’s consider how these work values might play out in a practical scenario. 

Imagine you’re a speaker invited to share your professional knowledge at a prestigious event. Recent years have seen a shift towards ensuring diverse voices are represented on traditionally all white or all male professional panels. Many people will give up their seat at these panels altogether and suggest that another individual take their place so that their voices can be heard instead. 

Can you identify what career values from the list above would drive a person to make this decision, even though attending could give them prestige and advance their career (consider values like diversity, uplifting and positive workplace culture, etc.)?

What career values do you think are less important to a person who would make such a choice?

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