Career Goals Value Blog Image smallAs a UBC graduate, I am always paging through an abundance of Alumni resources available via webcasts, research papers and online forums.  Recently, I began to notice that one of the biggest 10-year changes to our modern day business, is also one of the biggest changes to our modern day job search.  A stark difference exists from 10 years ago.  Today a much greater emphasis, both for  companies and job seekers, is placed on core values.

Just as important as experience and education, it seems job seekers want to be consistent with a company’s culture when building their careers. We can demonstrate fit to role on paper however, what can we do to demonstrate fit to culture?  The answer: Values Alignment!  Aligning your values will help ensure that when things change, you will still stand behind what your organization is up to.  This applies to those of us supporting others in their search for employment. How can we expect long term sustainability if we haven’t done a values alignment?

For many career seekers, finding a job seems impossible enough, let alone one finding a fit to culture. But as positions present themselves, it’s better to wait it out for a culture fit than to sacrifice something that could have been a motivation to thrive and grow. There’s never been a better time to align; everything you would want to know about a company’s values is widely available today.

The role of Social Media has encouraged increased transparency in how businesses, and people, convey their values.  Purpose driven branding has become a new norm in marketing and there’s no turning back.  Authentic brands don’t emerge from advertising agencies on Madison Avenue.  They emanate from everything the company does and how the public perceives what it does.  Over 85% of consumers believe that a business should place equal weight on societal issues and business issues.  These strong consumer attitudes and beliefs require that today’s companies  live through their core values in order to survive.

How do I know if my values align with a company’s values?

First, do your research.  Many resources are available.  Glassdoor is the world’s most transparent career community and it’s changing the way people find jobs. With a database of 6 million company reviews, CEO approval ratings, salary reports, interview tips and staff testimonials, prospective candidates can find out just about anything they want.  Keep digging.  You can find a company’s values on LinkedIn and Facebook profiles or at Purpose Driven.

Second, get in touch with your own values. Think about what inspires you to work, beyond things like money.  If you are motivated by rewards and recognition – then perhaps a team sales environment is for you.  If you like deadlines and work well under pressure – a fast-paced company or project oriented position is where you need to be.  For those who enjoy the details and want time to perfect their work – connect with companies that progress more gradually.  Here are some other values considerations.

Corporate Social Responsibility
Companies that are environmentally friendly or heavily involved in the community attract applicants who value that social responsibility.  Anyone who believes profit should be a company’s main objective would want to work in a culture with lower social responsibility.

Technology & Innovation
Have a passion for constant change?  When companies are highly innovative, they attract people who thrive on change. Others would prefer to get comfortable doing the job a certain way and master it.

Structure & Stability
Analyzing your work habits can give you a better sense of whether you’ll thrive in a highly structured company or in one that is more laid back.

Personal Challenge
If the challenge is too high, you might become overwhelmed. If the challenge is too low, you could feel underutilized.

Job seekers can get their personality and workplace values assessed online for free at CounterpartMatch.

Let’s not forget that many things come together to form our capacity.  For more thorough career exploration, consider using a holistic approach that encompasses all aspects of YOU.  This will build linkages between your career path and your personal style, future goals, being a parent, a student, a caregiver or a community volunteer.  Each part has a significant impact on your career path.  Assessing values is just one step in the career development framework.  Consult a Career Practitioner for expert advice on how to assess all aspects.