Most people are quick to dismiss the importance of spelling out your values because they tend to view words that come under ‘productivity’ as one, homogenous thing. For instance, we know that productive people are good at managing time, delivering quality work, and juggling multiple projects.
Your values are slightly different than this. For instance, if you want to prioritise collaboration as one of your primary values, you’ll be able to ensure you’re choosing opportunities with team settings over more solitary positions. This will help you optimise your productivity while also structuring your approach to work.
All kinds of work involve chiefly two kinds of values. As the name may suggest, intrinsic values refer to the day-to-day tasks you’ll be carrying out when working in an office setting. These could include prioritising helping others, ensuring projects get executed in a timely manner, and being communicative with your manager.
Extrinsic values, on the other hand, are more like rewards you see yourself accomplishing upon ensuring you’re working at maximum capacity. These include respect amongst your colleagues, career progression, and even higher salaries.
If you aren’t sure where to begin when it comes to determining your personal work values, a great way to go about figuring it out is by using a work value inventory. Start by listing out some general values that are going to be important or of use in your work setting. You may even choose to categorise these depending on whether they’re intrinsic or extrinsic.
Some examples of intrinsic values may include:
1. Collaboration – Figuring out if teamwork is important to you
2. Relationships – Ensuring you’re doing your best to support your colleagues
3. Autonomy – Knowing you’ll be given the freedom to work on projects on your own
Examples of extrinsic values that may be important to you include:
1. Recognition – Knowing the organisation you’ll be joining/ the position you’re taking up has a good reputation
2. Compensation – Knowing your efforts are being adequately paid for
3. Job Security – Knowing your position comes with an assurance of employment
Once you’ve listed a couple of these out, your next step will be to rank them on either a numerical scale or simply reordering them to reflect what’s most important to you. O*Net is a great online resource for those of you looking for a little more guidance on what these values need to look like. Pinning your work values down takes you that much closer to finding a job that’s going to fulfill your needs, as well as helping you get a far better understanding of what’s important to your productivity.
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