career values

Identifying Your Values: Choosing a Career That Aligns with What Matters to You

Your career values represent the beliefs you have about what is important in your work, and what makes it meaningful to you. Understanding your particular professional needs and preferences is an important aspect while deciding the best fitted career for you. 

Everyone do not some similar preferences and career values. People look for different things from career. Some prefer to work in a collaborative role with flexible hours and independence, and would value creativity, flexibility and autonomy. Comparatively, another professional may value the ability to work in a high-paced environment  with various challenges and opportunities to achieve.

What matters to one may mean little to another person. So, it is essential to understand your own unique value system and choose a career that aligns with what matters to you. 

Types of career values 

There are three major categories of career values

Intrinsic values

Intrinsic career values are intangible motivators that hold personal meaning for people and make them love their careers. Some common intrinsic values are achievement, commitment, contribution, equality, honesty, independence, respect, responsibility, power, autonomy, creativity, collaboration and status.

Extrinsic values

Extrinsic career values are those external rewards you receive for the work you perform as a professional. Some common extrinsic values are compensation, perks/benefits, job security, promotion, recognition, influence. 

Lifestyle values 

Lifestyle career values are those factors that contribute to your quality of life outside of work. While intrinsic and extrinsic values may influence your quality of life, lifestyle values can define your work-life balance and ability to find fulfilment beyond your professional role. Some examples of lifestyle values are support from leaders and management, scope for leisure time, family, diversity and culture, location of workplace. 

Identifying your values

When evaluating your career choices, ask yourself important questions, such as how would you describe your ideal workday? What work responsibilities excite you the most? 

One way to identify your career values is to look at a list of examples and rate them in terms of priority for you. Consolidating your list of career values can help you focus more easily on those factors that will impact your professional satisfaction, success and overall lifestyle contentment going forward. Select five to ten values to prioritise and define those values in terms of your personal needs and preferences.You should rate these only on basis of your preference and not be influenced by the values that matter to others. 

Everyone will weigh various factors differently. And, at different times in your life, your own work values may shift. For instance, you may define adequate compensation to support your family as an extrinsic value that relates to your lifestyle need for a family-friendly and flexible work environment. Recognising this intersection of values can help you rank and recognise their importance accordingly.

Another example would be if co-operation or compassion are core values for you, being able to express these things through a job where you help and work closely with others could be rewarding. If resourcefulness is an important value for you, an ideal job could be one where you have to find clever ways to overcome obstacles.


Work takes up a big portion of our lives. Because of this, making sure that you are physically and mentally healthy while working is extremely important. This can be achieved only if you work in an organisation which aligns with the values that are important for you. Thus identifying your career values is an important aspect which choosing your career and also while searching for a job. 


This post is a part of #BlogchatterA2Z 2023.

For more posts on the series, do check out posts under the category : Education & Career

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