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Work values

Choose work that reflects your values to gain career satisfaction.

The best career choices are ones that match your values.

What are values?

Values are your beliefs about what is important or desirable. When your values line up with how you live and work, you tend to feel more satisfied and confident. Living or working in ways that contradict your values can lead to dissatisfaction, confusion, and discouragement. So there is good reason to clarify your values, and seek to match your work to them.

Identify your own work values

Ready to learn more about your own work values? Get started with any of these activities:

  • Read about six core work values developed by the U.S. Department of Labor’s O*NET program. Click on the ones that best describe you to see careers that highlight that value.
  • Do it yourself: download and print O*NET’s work values cards (pdf). Cut your own cards and sort them into three piles, identifying whether each is “essential,” “important,” or “not important” for your career needs.
  • Take this online assessment to learn more about your own work values and related careers. This interactive assessment was developed by Virginia’s Community Colleges.