Many employees are becoming more selective about job offers, thanks to labor shortages and the increase in hybrid work. If you’re part of the Great Resignation or just considering your options, this may be an ideal time to find an employer who shares your values.
Cultural fit has been a standard part of career advice for generations because happiness at work usually means thinking about more than your salary. After all, you’re more likely to feel fulfilled if you support your company’s mission and practices.
In fact. more than 9 out of 10 adults are willing to earn less money in order to do meaningful work, according to a report by Harvard Business Review.
Figure out your priorities and use them to plot your career path.
How to Identify Your Personal Values:
- Be authentic. Work values vary greatly from one individual to another. You might yearn for a chance to travel the world while someone else wants more time at home to devote to their family or hobbies. Listen to your heart instead of trying to conform to external expectations.
- Make a list. If you search online for core values, you’ll find lots of tools to help you get started. Pick out the words and phrases that resonate with you.
- Create categories. On the other hand, you may feel overwhelmed by too many choices. Sort your priorities into similar groups to help organize the process.
- Review your experiences. Take some time to reflect on the kinds of situations that energize or drain you. Previous jobs or volunteer work might give you ideas for what you want out of life.
- Imagine your dream job. In the real world, any position has some trade-offs. However, visualizing can help you clarify your goals.
- Take some tests. Personality tests can be another resource. Take them online or work with an employment coach who may give you more insights into interpreting the results.
- Ask for feedback. Input from family, friends, and coworkers can be valuable. Listen with an open mind to discover issues that you may be overlooking or areas where your choices seem out of alignment with your stated values.
How to Apply Your Values to Your Job Search:
- Do your research. Take a deep look at any prospective employer. Read annual reports and news stories to learn about their leadership and community activities. Check websites like Glassdoor to browse through reviews from current and former employees.
- Talk with others. Once you’ve gathered some background information, you can reach out to your network contacts and try to find referrals to anyone familiar with the companies that interest you. That way you can ask pertinent questions and confirm your impressions.
- Follow social media. Facebook and other platforms let you see what companies say about themselves and the kind of image they want to maintain. You can also gain insights into how they interact with customers and other stakeholders.
- Broaden your sights. Big corporations hire PR firms to help them look socially responsible. However, smaller organizations can have a positive impact, too. You might find promising opportunities anywhere.
- Discuss the mission. Use job interviews and other conversations to learn more about an organization’s mission statement. Find out how it was developed and how it guides decision making. For example, how is it communicated to different stakeholders, and how does it tie into performance evaluations?
Finding an employer who shares your values can take some time and thought. However, the results are worth it. Feeling like you belong can make your work life less stressful and more rewarding.