Values are the things that are most important to us in our lives and careers. Our values are formed in a variety of ways through our life experiences, our feelings and our families. In the context of Career Planning, values generally refer to the things we value in a career. For example, some people value job security, money, structure and a regular schedule. Others value flexibility, excitement, independence and variety.

Values are things we feel very strongly about. For example, most of us will say that having enough money to live comfortably is important to us, but many are willing to work for less because what they value most is not money, it's something else such as working for a specific cause, helping people or having free time. Being aware of what we value in our lives is important because a career choice that is in-line with our core beliefs and values is more likely to be a lasting and positive choice. To help gain awareness of your work values, complete the following checklist.

In the following checklist, consider each work value carefully and indicate whether it is Very Important (1), Somewhat Important (2), or Not Important (3) to you.

It's important to me to: Value Importance
experience change and enjoy a variety of tasks Variety 12 3
have little chance of job loss or loss of income Security 12 3
have defined responsibilities and a hierarchy in the workplace Structure 12 3
have a high income Money 12 3
keep a routine without too many surprises Stability 12 3
be given opportunities to travel and see new places Travel 12 3
work with a diverse group of people and share ideas Teamwork 12 3
make my own hours and have little direct supervision Independence 12 3
take part in higher education and ongoing training and upgrading Education 12 3
experience adventure, changes and challenges Excitement 12 3
take on responsibility and help a group reach collective goals Leadership 12 3
have time and energy to spend with family and close friends Family 12 3
spend time on hobbies and interests outside of work Leisure Time 12 3
work in an occupation that fits with my religious beliefs Religious Beliefs 12 3
be recognized and respected for the work I do Prestige 12 3
work outside, close to nature Working Outside 12 3
work in comfortable surroundings, inside Working Indoors 12 3
have my own tools and working space Personal Space 12 3
meet a variety of people and work with and/or for others People 12 3
work with facts and abstract concepts Information 12 3
work with concrete items Things 12 3
make a difference in people's lives individually Helping Others 12 3
make the world a better place on a grand scale Community Impact 12 3
have little chance of on-the-job injury or danger Safety 12 3
have positive and friendly relationships with colleagues Relationships 12 3
learn and develop a variety of skills in my work Skills 12 3
use my artistic talents in the work I do Creativity 12 3
be in charge Authority 12 3
work in a casual and relaxed atmosphere Informality 12 3
become completely wrapped up in the work that I'm doing Passion 12 3

Type out the values that are most important to you (every number 1 that you selected) and then, if you wish, print out the page for future reference:

My Work Values

1. 2. 3.
4. 5. 6.
7. 8. 9.

Modified from Career Paths Online, 1996 with permission