How to apply your values throughout your career

Our values shape the career choices we make and play a significant role in our life. They are the things that are most important to you about the way you live and the work you do. Being clear about your values can help with decision-making throughout your career. 

Our values tend to define our priorities in life and what we find important. So doing a job that aligns with your values means you are more likely to be content and satisfied at work. For example, if unity and compassion are two of your personal values, you will probably do well in a job where you get to help and work closely with others. 

Most employers welcome employees who know what their personal values are because they are usually more authentic. Authenticity results in increased productivity and well-being, which is a bonus!

While it is important to understand your personal values when it comes to the workplace, it is just as important to ask about the values of the organisation, or the values of the key people you’ll be working with. These  values are often overlooked, but they are a crucial part of what makes you happy at work. Don’t be afraid to ask!

Here are three practical examples of how to apply your values to your career:

  1. Declining a job offer

    Suppose your personal values include safety, co-operation and stability. However, the manager interviewing you says that if you get the job, things will happen fast, you will have a great deal of freedom to shape your own role, and they are looking for someone who is independent.

    The job seems exciting but the things that have been mentioned are not in line with your personal values. You should look for another job that suits you better.

  2. Accepting a job offer

    Imagine that your personal values include involvement, challenges, and being highly competitive. The boss says the company goal is to create solid growth and they are anticipating significant challenges soon. All these things fit in with your values. You can be confident you are the right person for the job!

  3. Making good career choices

    Let’s say your personal values revolve around being independent and you like to explore new options and possibilities. Someone offers you a job that involves moving to a new location. This feels right to you, so you accept. However, if you prefer safety, comfort and being around family, this would not be a good career choice. Sometimes values are more important than money or titles.


Take these three examples and see if they apply to you. We hope they can help you to make good and informed decisions about your career.