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What Are My Work Values? Quiz

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Work isn’t just about what you do every day, but how you get that work done, who you work with, and the environment in which you work. Your work values are your beliefs about all of these elements. For example, you might enjoy working independently, while others value collaboration above all else. Or, you might value working conditions like compensation and work-life balance, while others value achieving impactful results.

Your work values are unique to your preferences and personality. Knowing your work values can help you figure out what roles, career paths, and companies you not only enjoy working for, but will thrive at.

So, what are the main types of work values, and what’s your most important work value? We’ll define work values and share a free career values assessment to help you figure out which values you align with. 

What Are Work Values?

Work values are attributes that you prescribe to your role, career, company, and work environment. They are beliefs, principles, or ethics that matter to you and help you find meaning and success at work.

How can you know your work values if you’ve never been in a workplace?

“Values are values no matter where you are in your life or career,” says Emily Walton, founder and coach. “It doesn’t matter if they are at home or at work, they are still there. So, a great place to start is to look at your daily life for inspiration. What are the things that you enjoy? Do you get a warm feeling in the pit of your stomach or cry happy tears? Those are likely tied to values for you. On the flip side, what really bothers you or makes you see red? That’s a sign that something that is important to you (a potential value) is being violated.” 

Main Types of Work Values

There are six core types of work values. You can have more than one type of work value, and some might matter to you more than others.


People who value achievement at work do well in results-oriented environments where they can clearly see the impact and outcome of their work. For example, someone who values achievement might make a great designer where they have assets to show the outcomes of their work. They may also enjoy roles where they can see their impact on others, such as being a doctor and helping patients feel better or a teacher who can see their students build skills.


People who value independence at work value autonomy and being able to have a voice in their work. This doesn’t mean that they necessarily like to work alone; rather, they want the ability to make decisions about their work. 

Independence can apply to both work environments and roles. People who prefer independence in their work environment may prefer remote or hybrid work environments and the ability to manage their workload and set their schedule. 

Stephen Greet, CEO and co-founder of BeamJobs, values independence at work because he wants the “freedom to make decisions and take ownership of [his] work.”

“This value stems from experiences where I felt micromanaged, which hindered my creativity and productivity,” he says. “Micromanagement can often lead to a lack of ownership, stifled creativity, and a feeling of disempowerment, which can negatively impact an individual’s motivation and overall job satisfaction.”


People who value recognition at work enjoy feeling appreciated and acknowledged for their work. They appreciate roles where their work is visible, and success is celebrated. They may also enjoy work environments where it’s easier to advance and become a leader.

Roles that cater to this value include public-facing roles like actors or government officials. Yet you can still get recognition at work even if you’re not in a public-facing role; work environments with clear career advancement opportunities and team celebration can satisfy this work value.


People who value relationships at work thrive when working in collaborative environments where team members have strong connections. Having trust and rapport with their coworkers helps them feel empowered at work. 

Roles that cater well to this value include project managers who facilitate teamwork, human resources professionals who help employees feel supported at work, or social workers who connect with clients.

working at Accenture

Project Management

Coordinate a team and project timelines to help a large global financial services client launch a new product.

Avg. Time: 2-3 hours

Skills you’ll build: Communication, strategic analysis, presentation, skills assessment, synthesizing


People who value support at work thrive when they have feelings of belonging and trust in the people they work with and who they work for. They may thrive in environments that offer mentorship, learning opportunities, and collaboration. They also appreciate doing work that is considerate, fair, and done with integrity. 

Lucas Botzen, CEO and HR expert at Rivermate, shares that integrity — a sub-value in support — was a value he attained from difficult situations early in his career. 

“I discovered just such a situation very early in my career when faced with the choice between shortcutting for a fast result or playing the upright game,” he explains. “That led to trust between my colleagues and my clients and, ultimately, respect. One of the principle beliefs that I think we should adhere to is ‘We are against gross, and we will respect and partner with each other in fair ways.'”

Working Conditions

People who value working conditions focus most on their work environment. They may value factors like psychologically safe and supportive work environments, but they also value environments that offer benefits like flexible work schedules, work-life balance, good compensation, and job security.

Why Are Work Values Important?

When I started thinking about what I wanted to do after graduating, I was really focused on the type of work I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to write, and I was determined to find a role that allowed me to flex these skills.

After I started working, I quickly realized how much more there was to my job than what skills I was using. While it was exciting to write for work, there were so many other aspects of my job that made me happy — and those that didn’t. I loved working with a team of other people who were smart and dedicated, and I enjoyed collaborating on projects. At the same time, I had a great sense of pride when I had a tangible representation of what I’d done, like finishing an article. 

These observations have informed my work values, and they’re crucial to what makes me enjoy work and choose work conditions that help me succeed. I’ve realized that even if I found a job where I was writing, if I didn’t have a team to collaborate with or tangible projects to show my work — I don’t know if I’d thrive.

Work values are essential because they help you find meaning and align with your work. They can help you figure out crucial aspects of what makes your work experience better, including:

  • What processes help you work best
  • What manager and coworker relationships you value
  • What work outcomes are important to you
  • What work environments allow you to work best

Knowing your work values can empower you in your job search to find the roles, career paths, and companies that align with what matters to you.

Career Values Assessment

Ready to figure out which of the work values is most important to you? You’ll have to sign up for your results, but it’s absolutely free. Let’s get started!

1. You're planning a party with friends. Your job is to…
2. Pick a place to study.
3. In a group project, you take the role of…
4. You win a free subscription to a new streaming service. What content are you most excited to explore?
5. You work best when…
6. Imagine you have a free afternoon to yourself. You're most likely to…
7. Congratulations, you've landed a summer internship! What would make you most excited about interning?
8. You're planning a trip to a foreign country. You're most focused on…
9. You're most proud when you…
10. You have a big homework assignment due. How do you approach it?
11. You're planning a movie night with friends. How do you decide on the movie?
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How to Find a Job With Your Work Values

Now that you know your work values, how do you find a role that matches yours?

Do Your Research

Before you apply for a role, research the job and the company. Look for keywords in the job description that will give you a sense of what you’ll be expected to do, who you’ll work with, and how your company measures your success. 

Look to a company’s website, social media accounts, and even press releases or news features to understand its company culture and values. For example, if your work value is recognition, you may look to see if a company is particularly adamant about sharing team success stories and highlighting top-performing employees. 

Read Reviews

Your initial research can give you an outsider’s view of what the role and company might be like, but it’s essential to hear from other people firsthand. One way to do this is to read reviews of what it’s like to work for a company on sites like Glassdoor.

It’s crucial not to weigh one review too seriously. Instead, look for patterns across multiple reviews. Do many people mention great work-life balance and autonomy? What are common complaints about leadership or benefits?

Use Your Network

Outside of reviews, the best way to hear from others is to talk to them directly. 

“It is important to use personal and professional networks, as well as industry associations, to find out if a job or company fits with your values,” Greet says. “Talking to current or former employees can give you a lot of useful information about the company’s culture, management styles, and day-to-day operations that is hard to get from the outside. These firsthand accounts can give a person a realistic idea of whether the company’s values and ways of doing things really match up with their own, which can help them make an informed choice about possible job openings.”

>>MORE: Learn how to set up and what questions to ask in an informational interview.

Get Curious in the Interview

Once you’ve landed an interview, it’s crucial to ask the right questions to uncover what working in this role and at this company will be like. 

“Inquire about the expectations of the position, why the position is open, and how the role will grow within the organization over time,” says Caitlin Wehniainen, director of business development at On Cue Hire and professional with 14 years of staffing and recruitment experience. “Meet more than one interviewer to get a feel for the team. If something resonates with you and you want to be a part of it, then it’s a great sign. If it doesn’t feel like a fit, continue interviewing. Trust your intuition during the interview process. I always recommend interviewing and applying to multiple places as each interview is an opportunity to discover what you like and dislike. Experience in interviewing is important for any job seeker.”

>>MORE: 5 Top Questions to Ask in an Interview (and Why You Should Ask Them)

Walton agrees, sharing that it’s most important to find out if the responsibilities of the potential role will make it more difficult for you to honor your values. 

“Companies will often have ‘values’ and will often not live by them,” she says. “Ask questions in your interview process to see how the company operates and whether it is in line with its value statement or not.” 

Walton suggests asking questions like:

  • How would you describe the culture here?
  • What do you like and dislike about the culture?
  • What would you change if you had the power to?
  • Do you like working here?
  • Can you share an example of a coworker or boss exhibiting (insert value)?

Interview Preparation: Own Your Story

Come to interviews prepared and confident by practicing how you articulate your story and strengths.

Avg. Time: 3-4 hours

Skills you’ll build: Self-reflection, carer and self-development, research, career management, storytelling

Work Values: The Bottom Line

Your work values are crucial to how you experience the workplace and whether you enjoy your role, the work you do, and the company you work for. Understanding the different types of work values and identifying which ones matter to you can help you make more informed decisions about your career.

Remember, your work values are completely up to you and may change over time. As long as you’re in touch with what helps you enjoy and succeed at work, you can use that information to help you find the best roles for you.

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Zoe Kaplan is a Senior Writer at Forage. Prior to joining Forage, she wrote and edited career and workplace content for Fairygodboss, the largest career community for women.

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