by Lisa Thompson

What type of work environment motivates you? Or saps your energy like a black hole? Finding work that matches your values will be make you happier and more satisfied and successful at work. There’s never a wrong to time to figure out what’s important to you in a work environment. But if you’ve been laid off or are considering a career change, then now is the perfect time to revisit your workplace values.


What are workplace values?

When we talk about “values” in this context, we’re talking about how you feel about the work you do, the environment in which you do it (both the physical environment and the workplace culture), and who you do the work for.  Everyone’s workplace values are different. For some people, a harmonious work environment is most important. For others, stimulating work is higher on the list. Or advancement may be your primary motivator.


Whatever your priorities, the goal is to find work that fulfills your needs. Below are a few examples of the types of values people often consider:


1. Your work:

  • Is mentally or physically challenging/stimulating?

  • Uses your skills and training?

  • Allows you to learn new things?

  • Has a positive impact?


2. Your environment:

  • Provides the work schedule you need?

  • Is physically comfortable (workspace ergonomics, noise level, temperature, etc.)?

  • Is a reasonable distance from your home?

  • Provides balance between work and your personal life?

  • Is stable and secure?

  • Provides cooperative working relationships?


3. Your employer:

  • Is ethical and fair?

  • Provides opportunity for advancement and promotion?

  • Compensates you well?

  • Offers professional development?

  • Rewards or recognizes hard work and dedication?


No job is perfect, but dissatisfaction or unhappiness affects how well you do your job. You may dread going to work each day. You may complain to anyone who will listen. You may do the bare minimum to get by. Ultimately, a job that doesn’t match your values wears you down emotionally. Over time, this can also have an impact on your physical health.


Identifying What Matters to You

Figuring out which workplace is a good fit for you isn’t hard, but it does take a little time and honest self-reflection. Below are some free online assessments to help you determine what you value:



Do your values match your current job? Your career path? Your career goals? Your current employer? If you answered “no” to any of these, is it affecting your happiness, satisfaction, or productivity? If so, then it might be time to consider moving on to a position or employer that shares your values. Below are a few resources to help you make that transition: