Work Values Inventory
It’s important to take an inventory of what your values are so that you can seek careers and environments that align, rather than clash, with what’s important to you. In the exercise below, identify your top values as they relate to your preferences in your work life.
Read the list and do the following:
- Check off the work values that are important to you. Add any values not on this list.
- Rank the top ten work values that you have checked off.
____ Adventure: Have work duties which involve frequent risk-taking.
____ Aesthetics: Be involved in studying or appreciating the beauty of things, ideas, etc.
____ Affiliation: Be recognized as a member of a particular organization.
____ Artistic Creativity: Engage in creating work in any of several art forms.
____ Change and Variety: Have work responsibilities which frequently change in their content and setting.
____ Community: Line in a town or city where I can get involved in community affairs.
____ Competition: Engage in activities that which pit my abilities to against others where there are
clear win-and-lose outcomes.
____ Creativity (general): Create new ideas, programs, organizational structures, or anything else not
following a format previously developed by others.
____ Excitement: Experience a high degree of (or frequent) excitement in the course of my work.
____ Fast Pace: Work in circumstances where work must be done rapidly.
____ Friendships: Develop close personal relationships with people as a result of my work.
____ Help Others: Be involved in helping other people directly, either individually or in small groups.
____ Help Society: Do something to contribute to the betterment of the world I live in.
____ Independence: Be able to determine the nature of my work without significant direction from
others: not have to do what others tell me to do.
____ Influence People: Be in a position to change attitudes or opinions of other people.
____ Intellectual Status: Be regarded as a person of high intellectual powers or as one who is an
acknowledged “expert” in a given field.
____ Intellectual Stimulation: Work on projects that challenge me, and require the use of a variety of resources
to be successful.
____ Knowledge: Engage myself in the pursuit of knowledge, truth, and understanding.
____ Location: Find a place to live (town, geographical area) which is conductive to my lifestyle
and affords me the opportunity to do the things I enjoy most.
____ Make Decisions: Have the power to decide courses of action, policies, etc.
____ Moral Fulfillment: Feel that my work is contributing significantly to a set of moral standards which I
feel are very important.
____ Physical Challenge: Have a job that makes physical demands which I would find rewarding.
____ Power and Authority: Control the work activities or (partially) the destinies of other people.
____ Profit/Gain: Have a strong likelihood of collecting large amounts of money or material gain.
____ Public Contact: Have a lot of day-to-day contact with people.
____ Precision Work: Work in a situation where there is little tolerance for errors.
____ Recognition: Be recognized for the quality of my work in some visible or public way.
____ Stability: Be assured of keeping my job and receiving a reasonable financial reward.
____ Supervision: Have a job in which I am directly responsible for the work done by others.
____ Time Freedom: Have work responsibilities which I can work at according to my own time
schedule; no specific working hours required.
____ Travel: Work in a situation that allows me to travel OR allows me not to travel.
____ Work Alone: Do projects by myself, without any significant amount of contact with others.
____ Work under Pressure: Work in situations where time pressure is prevalent and/or the quality of my work
is judged critically by supervisors, customers, or others.
____ Work with Others: Have close working relationships with people as a result of my work.
References: In their book, Values and Teaching, Rath, Harmin, and Simon offer a representative list of work values.