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Work values checklist
Money? Independence? Helping others? Let our checklist help you prioritize what's important for your next job.

Every day, we make choices - some without careful consideration. Whether we realize it or not, often our career choice is based on values rather than the work. Values are the beliefs, attitudes and judgments we prize. Are you aware of your values? Do you act on them?

Use this checklist to get a better idea of what's important to you. It's divided into three categories related to intrinsic, extrinsic and lifestyle values.

Intrinsic Values

These are the intangible rewards, those related to motivation and satisfaction at work on a daily basis. They provide the inner satisfaction and motivation that make people say, "I love getting up and going to work!"

How important (on a scale of one to five; five being most important) are these intrinsic values to you?

1. Variety and change at work
2. Be an expert
3. Work on the frontiers of knowledge
4. Help others
5. Help society
6. Experience adventure/excitement
7. Take risks/have physical challenges
8. Feel respected for your work
9. Compete with others
10. Have lots of public contact
11. Influence others
12. Engage in precision work
13. Gain a sense of achievement
14. Opportunities to express your creativity
15. Work for a good cause

Extrinsic Values

These are the tangible rewards or conditions you find at work, including the physical setting, job titles, benefits and earnings/earning potential. Extrinsic values often trap people into staying at jobs they don't like, saying: "I just can't give up my paycheck!" They are commonly called "golden handcuffs."

How important (on a scale of one to five; five being most important) are these "golden handcuffs" to you?

1. Have control/power/authority
2. Travel often
3. Be rewarded monetarily
4. Be an entrepreneur
5. Work as a team
6. Work in a fast-paced environment
7. Have regular work hours
8. Set your own hours/have flexibility
9. Be wealthy
10. Have prestige or social status
11. Have intellectual status
12. Have recognition through awards/honors/bonuses
13. Wear a uniform
14. Work in an aesthetically pleasing environment
15. Work on the edge, in a high-risk environment

Lifestyle Values

These are the personal values associated with how and where you want to live, how you choose to spend your leisure time and how you feel about money.

How important (on a scale of one to five; five being most important) are these lifestyle values to you?

1. Save money
2. Vacation at expensive resorts
3. Have access to educational/cultural opportunities
4. Live close to sports/recreational facilities
5. Be active in your community
6. Entertain at home
7. Be involved in politics
8. Live simply
9. Spend time with family
10. Live in a big city
11. Live abroad
12. Have time for spirituality/personal growth
13. Be a homeowner
14. Live in a rural setting
15. Have fun in your life and at work

Once you have completed all three checklists, write down all the values you rated as 5s. If you have less than five, add the values you rated as 4s to the list. If your list of 4s and 5s has more than 20 values, you need to stop and prioritize your list. To prioritize, select no more than four or five values from each category.

Next, analyze which of the three categories is most important to you. Consider how each is reflected in the work you currently do or in the position you would like to find. Look for overlap or values that seem to go together, such as "be wealthy" from Extrinsic Values and "save money" from Lifestyle Values. If there is no overlap or compatibility between categories, or if everything is important to you, then reprioritize your list by selecting your top 10 values. Then narrow that list down to the five values you absolutely need both on and off the job.

Finally, write two or three sentences describing or summarizing how your values will translate into your ideal job. Knowing what's important will help you prepare for your next interview or help you find increased satisfaction with the job you have.

As you follow the process, if you notice that what motivates you is actually a reward or already part of your lifestyle, it means you're living your values.

Source : www.monster.com
Writer by Pat Boer, Monster contributor