Finding a Job That Matches Your Values
Discover six steps to finding the perfect job based on your workplace values.
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Finding A Job That Matches Your Values
If you’re looking for a new job, you don’t want just any position. You want a “good job.” But what does that really mean?
In the past, the top attributes of a “good job” were a competitive salary, an impressive title and a functional office setup. Of course, those things are still nice to have. But, in today’s world, another consideration is rising to the top: Values fit.
Research shows that:
If you’re going to spend 2000+ hours a year doing a job, you want to be aligned with your employer’s values—especially around company goals, how people are expected to behave and how decisions are made.
So how can you find out if a job or company matches your values? Try these six steps:
To know if your goals are aligned with a prospective employer, the first step is identifying your workplace values. Most of us have a general idea of our values when it comes to work, but it’s essential to set aside some time to think about what’s most important to you.
To get started, ask yourself questions like:
Once you have a list of values, rank them. What are your must-haves vs. nice-to-haves? What are your red flags?
Once you know your values, don’t be shy about telling people about them. Make them apparent on your LinkedIn profile. Prepare to talk about them in interviews. Start seeking like-minded people and network with those people. Practice explaining why your values are important and how someone with your values benefits an organization. The more you talk about your values, the more likely you are to find a role where you can be happy.
When you’re considering a specific role or company:
When you finish your research, consider what you know about the company’s personality, behavior and reputation. Do they seem to match your values? What questions do you have about the company’s values?
If you make it to the job interview stage, you’re interviewing the company just as much as the company is interviewing you. That means you have an excellent opportunity to get your lingering values questions answered. You can start by asking the interviewers to describe organizational values, but it’s even more important to ask questions that prompt the interviewer to give examples.
For example, you could ask things like:
Pro tip: If you have more than one interview, ask each person that you speak with your value questions. Do different people have different ideas? After each interview, jot down what they say, so it’s easier to compare. If the answers are wildly different, ask for clarification.
If your initial interviews go well, ask to speak with some of your future colleagues from around the organization. You will spend a lot of time working with these people, so it’s good to get a feel about whether you’ll hit it off.
The goal is to get to know the company from every angle. It might seem like an extra step, but it gives you the most accurate information about what you’re getting yourself into.
If you get a job offer, don’t get swayed by a fancy title or a flashy compensation package. Taking a job is a big decision that will impact your life for a significant amount of time. So, go back to your values list.
Ask yourself: Is this job what I want? Will I feel comfortable and energized in the workplace? Will I do work that I’m proud of? If not, continue your search elsewhere. If yes, you just might have found yourself that sought-after “good job.”
If you want to design a career on your terms, becoming an interim professional might be right for you. With interim engagements, you have the flexibility to choose when, where, and how much you work. Learn more about interim work or join our interim network.