This is the second post in a two-part series on matching your values with your workplace. This post looks at core values and corporate culture, building on what was discussed earlier, so if you haven’t yet read it, make sure you go back and read it here.
A successful career cocktail
In my last post, Why values matter to you career, I explained what values are and that as inward facing traits, they can be your most important to focus on to understand where your career will go in the future jobs market. This post looks at how you can tailor your career to meet your values and why it’s a good idea as you look past your successful graduate stage towards a successful career.
Let’s start by thinking about what you like and value as a person. Think about the following questions:
- If you’re going out, do you like to go with the flow or do you decide on everything beforehand?
- Do you like to be around lots of people or do you prefer quiet reflection?
- During assignments, do you prefer to organise everything or just look after one specific part?
- Do you prefer to manage many diverse tasks at once or do you look after one task at a time?
- If you want to try something new, do you prefer to read up about it or have a teacher?
Let’s look at what those questions really asked:
- Is flexibility or planning more important?
- Do you have a preference for extroversion or introversion?
- Do you need to lead or contribute?
- Do you like to be busy or focussed?
- Are you an independent learner or do you like mentorship?
While the above questions only represent a very small sample of your potential values, they are a great launching pad for understanding what’s important to you and for your future career.
How important are each of your values?
It’s very likely you responded you only had a slight preference for at least one of the above questions. When thinking about your values, it’s important to realise not all will be core values.
Core values are those that are of most importance to you. They make up your personality and affect the way you respond and enjoy all aspects of your life.
If you are just as happy to have one task as you are having ten, chances are focus isn’t a core value. But if you feel confined by plans, flexibility is probably important to you.
How do you rank your five responses by importance?
Core values and corporate culture
I’ve said before that I’m one of the many people who look at an applicant’s online profile to learn more. You can do the same thing back to a company (and you should be doing this as part of your job hunt research, anyway).
If you see a job listing you are interested in, at some point you should begin to research the company in addition to reading the “About the employer” section of the listing. Most companies now have a website which should detail their operations, mission statement, their history, what they do, their values, etc. This is a great way to start to understand the employer’s organisational culture.
As you’re researching, is there anything that sticks out to you about their culture, both good and bad? If so, why? When you start recognising your core values you also start to recognise when they will and won’t be met.
For example, if you value flexibility, a company that adheres to work-life balance and broad opening times might be great, but a customer service role which has strict set hours and ongoing, repetitious tasks might not.
Your values are important to your career. When they are met, it’s a win/win for you and your employer. You feel better about your job, meaning you’re more receptive to learning opportunities (never underestimate the impact low morale can have on your desire to improve yourself) while you become more productive for your employer. Your career grows along with your organisation.
There are lots of values that make up a person, many of which are not explicitly related to work. Determining your core values and how they fit into your needs will help you find the organisational culture that best suits you. Successful Graduate helps you understand what’s of most important to you and translate it into terms that make sense for you to start your career. Core values and corporate culture can go hand in hand, leading to great job satisfaction. Sign up today.
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