Work Values Self Assessment Exercise

To clarify the values most critical to your personal/professional fulfillment, the following list describes a wide variety of satisfactions that people obtain from work. Look at the values and their definitions and rate the degree of importance that you would give each using the following scale:

1 = Not important at all

2 = Not very important

3 = Reasonably important

4 = Very important

After reviewing all the 4’s (4 = Very important), pick the top 5 that you would be unwilling to compromise on in a job and you would consider your “deal-breakers”:

Values and Descriptions


Description: Getting ahead rapidly, gaining opportunities for growth and seniority from work well done


Description: Having duties that involve frequent risk-taking and change


Description: Surrounded by and/or creating beauty

Altruism/Help Others

Description: Helping others in a direct way and contributing to the betterment of the world


Description: Being real; being yourself


Description: Quality of life with room for personal and family interests


Description: Engage with complex questions and demanding tasks


Description: Comparing your abilities to the abilities of others.

Community Activities

Description: Become active in volunteering, politics or service projects


Description: Controlling the activities of yourself and others


Description: Having and using original ideas


Description: Demonstrating a high degree of competence and mastery of job skills and knowledge

Fast Pace

Description: Performing in circumstances where work is done rapidly and/or there is little room for error


Description: Work according to my time schedule


Description: Have opportunities to be playful and humorous at work


Description: Ability to learn/grow professionally, contributing in new ways


Description: Avoid pressures and stress in job role and work setting and seek harmonious relationships


Description: Maintain good physical, mental, and/or emotional health


Description: Making decisions without significant direction from others


Description: Helping to change attitudes or opinions of others


Description: Develop new information and ideas. Engage in pursuit of truth and understanding


Description: Direct, manage, or supervise the work done by others

Make Decisions

Description: Having power to decide courses of action, policies, etc.


Description: Opportunity to travel or to be out of an office

Moral Fulfillment

Description: Feel that your work is consistent with your ideals or moral code

Physical Challenge

Description: Having work that is physically challenging

Public Contact

Description: Having a lot of day-to-day contact with people outside work/home


Description: Getting positive feedback and public credit for work well done


Description: Feeling accomplished and recognized by others


Description: Have a work routine and job duties that are largely predictable and not likely to change over a long period of time


Description: Have a work routine and job duties that are largely predictable and not likely to change over a long period of time


Description: Working with a group of people for common goals


Description: Have a wide range of work responsibilities frequently changing in content, setting people
and/or activities


Description: Accumulating a larger than average amount of money or other material gain

Work Alone

Description: Working independently without significant contact with others

Work Values Self Assessment Exercise Sheet

Are you looking for a printable version of this self-assessment? Download the Work Values Self-Assessment Worksheet (PDF, 142)