Career Values

Knowing and understanding what's important to you about life/work will help you to choose an occupation and a work environment that matches your values. In reality, you probably participate in work, volunteering and life activities for a number of reasons and it's good to identify those reasons and understand their importance. In exploring this you may discover which career values are most important to you.

Most people are happy doing things that allow them to live according to their values. Values can also be defined as the key motivators that drive or define our actions and can vary greatly among individuals.

When picturing your future career think about the importance of values such as job security, salary, helping people, flexibility, creativity, variety, work hours, independence, achievement, status, ethics, social interaction, work environment, leadership/management, etc. Though salary is an important consideration you will want to ensure your career path is in line with your strongest values since it most often determines job satisfaction. And as the saying goes, "when you love what you do you'll never work a day in your life." Prioritizing, not only identifying your values, can help you to compare or evaluate occupations later.

Strategies for identifying your career values:

  • Consider all jobs and volunteer experiences you've had and think about what you have enjoyed and didn't enjoy about each. For example, did you enjoy the freedom given to you in a past job? Did you have an opportunity to use your creative skills and develop new ideas? Do you want these opportunities in your career?
  • Talk to others about what they value in work. Parents, guardians and friends can be helpful: ask them what they like about their jobs. Do you have similar feelings or do your values differ? Document what you learn about yourself.
  • If you are still having difficulty identifying your values use one of the following tools to evaluate your Career Values. These tools may provide a starting point to begin a discussion with someone close to you, or meet with a Career Consultant at Career Services to further explore the meaning of your results.

Values Assessments: (External Resources)


Career Compass

2017-2018 Academic Calendar Link


CACEE 2017 Excellence in Innovation, Student Engagement Award Winner Logo

Career Services at the University of Manitoba, along with 43 other partner career centres across Canada, co-won the Excellence in Innovation (Student Engagement) award at the CACEE conference for the It All Adds Up campaign.