catalyst challenge, day 8: desired work values

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Relaxing Music for the month: Awakening: Liquid Mind (12:11) –

Note: Please enjoy the relaxing music while completing the assessment!

Desired Work Values

Every day at work, we make choices – sometimes without thinking. Your job/career/calling choices are often based on specific work values. What follows is a list of desired work values that identify the rewards and/or conditions you find appealing at/in work, including the physical setting, job titles, benefits and earnings/earning potential.

These desired work values have a direct impact on your satisfaction with your job, with your career, and even with your life. When you understand the work values you cherish most, you can make an evaluation about whether your prospective or current employer are aligned with and supports those values. And if you are considering a career change understanding your values is critical to identifying a new career path and/or place. If you are currently in a position and have been for several years, are you still doing the kind of work that really matters to you?  Does this work suit you?  If you don’t know, maybe it’s time for a work values check-up.  And if you don’t believe me, check out this article:

Don’t be surprised if some or all of your Desired Work Values match your Personal Core Values, since it’s really hard to separate work life and home life.

The Desired Work Values activity will have you identify the top FIVE (5) values that you believe are most important (or would be most important) in the work you do.  They DO NOT have to be ranked, but feel free to rank them if you desire. Use the list below to narrow down your option. (Note: If there’s a Lifestyle Value that’s important to you but not on the list, make sure to include it on your list.)

  • Advancement: To be in a job which offers me a good opportunity for promotion.
  • Adventure: To have an opportunity to explore and seek new opportunities.
  • Aesthetics: To be involved in studying or appreciating the beauty of things, ideas, etc.  To be in a position that is beautiful and aesthetically pleasing.
  • Affiliation: To be recognized as a member of a particular organization.
  • Autonomy: To work independently, with minimal direction or supervision. To be able to determine the nature of my work without significant direction from others; not have to do what others tell me to do.  Be allowed to decide how to reach a goal and in what order to do my work; deciding what to do first and how fast or slow to work.
  • Competition: To engage in activities which pit my skills and abilities against others where there are clear win-and-lose outcomes.
  • Creativity: To be able to create new ideas, programs, organizational structures or anything else not following a format previously developed by others. To engage in artistic expression.
  • Culture: To have opportunities to engage in/participate in educational, community, and cultural events.
  • Community: To see my work as a direct benefit to the community in which I live.
  • Compensation: To be in a job where I can make large amounts of money, receive significant monetary rewards, and/or accumulate great benefits (such as insurance, retirement accounts, free education) for my work.
  • Deadlines: To work in situations where time pressure to deliver results is prevalent and/or the quality of my work is judged critically by supervisors, customers or others.
  • Decision-making: To have a meaningful role and/or power to decide direction, courses of action, policies, etc.
  • Detail: To work in situations that are very structured, where attention to detail, precision, and accuracy matters a great deal and there is very little tolerance for error.
  • Excitement: To be able to experience a high degree of (or frequent) pleasure and stimulation in my work.
  • Expertise: To work in an occupation where, as I get better, others recognize my skill and begin to ask my advice as an expert.  To achieve mastery and become an authority in whatever work I decide to do.
  • Fast Pace: To work in circumstances where there is a high pace of activity, where work must be done rapidly. To be able to work as fast as I can, to get as much work done in as short a time as possible. Being paid by the number of deadlines achieved or by the number of items completed.
  • Flexibility: To have work responsibilities which I can work at according to my own time schedule; no specific working hours required.  To be able to choose which hours I want to work, as long as the work gets done on time.
  • Friendships: To develop close personal relationships with people as a result of my work activities 
  • Fun: To be in a place where I have fun and enjoyment doing my work.
  • Entrepreneur: To be in a job where I am able to try and create new things as if I was starting my own business.  To be able to take safe risks in creating new products and/or services.
  • Influence: To be in a position to change attitudes or opinions of other people. To be able to shape and influence the thinking of others.
  • Intellectual Status: To be regarded as a person of high intellectual prowess or as one who is an acknowledged “expert” in a given field
  • Intellectual Stimulation: To do work that keeps my mind active and forces me to think about difficult concepts.  To have an opportunity to learn about new things.
  • Knowledge: To be in a job that allows me to engage myself in the pursuit of knowledge, truth, and understanding.
  • Location: To be in a place to live (town, geographical area) which is conducive to my lifestyle and affords me the opportunity to do the things I enjoy most.
  • Making a Difference:  To know that the world is a better place because of the work I do.
  • Management: I want to lead and directly supervise the work of others.
  • Moral and Ethical Fulfillment: To feel that my work is contributing significantly to a set of moral principles and standards which I feel are very important
  • Personal Development: To be able to have time for personal growth, professional development, and self-exploration.
  • Physical Challenge: To have a job that makes physical demands on me which I would find rewarding.
  • Power/Authority: To control the work activities of others and have the authority, power, and control to make all decisions
  • Prestige: To do work that others consider important, so that people will respect me and look up to me because of my work. To be viewed by others with honor and reverence.
  • Public Contact: To have a lot of day-to-day contact with people.
  • Recognition/Acknowledgement: To be recognized/noticed for the high quality of my work (such as work tasks, achievements, services, etc.) in some visible or public way.
  • Recreation/Leisure: To be in a place where I can be involved with or have access to sports and recreation activities/facilities.
  • Respect: To feel admiration and appreciation for the work that I do.
  • Risk-Taking: To have work duties which involve a sense of risk and adventure. To be able to take chances and not worry about results.
  • Security: To feel safe knowing that my job will always be there.  To know that there is little chance I will lose my job. To be assured of keeping my job and a reasonable financial reward for doing that job
  • Service: To be involved in helping other people in a direct way, either individually or in small groups
  • Solitude: To be in a job where I do projects by myself, without any significant amount of contact with others.
  • Stability: To have work routines and job duties that are largely predictable and not likely to change over a long period of time.  To know exactly what I’ll be doing day-in and day-out.
  • Social Change: To be involved in work that makes a larger contribution to society at large and contributes to the betterment of the world I live in.
  • Supervision: To have a job in which I am directly responsible for the work done by others.
  • Teamwork: To work with others toward common goals or to complete a project.
  • Time for Family/Self: To have enough time for myself and my family. To work in an environment that has and supports strong family values.  To be at a place that provides me ample time off.
  • Travel: To have opportunity to travel regularly and explore new places throughout the year.
  • Variety: To have work responsibilities which frequently change and vary regularly in their content and setting. To do many different types of tasks and/or using different skills in my work.

After reviewing the list, write down FIVE (5) Desired Work Values that are important to you, especially as you think about you spend your time at work. They don’t have to be rank-ordered; descriptions are optional.

Have fun!

Bill’s Desired Work Values Results

  1. Personal Development: To be engaged in work that not only develops others, but allows me to develop myself as well.
  2. Autonomy: Have to ability to choose the work that I do, how I do it, and when I do it.
  3. Flexibility: Can adjust the time I work; some days work early and leave early,, some days work late and leave late.
  4. Friendships: Be in an environment where the people I work with feel like friends/family – not just cogs in a wheel.
  5. Make a Difference: The work that I do MUST serve the greater good in a positive way.
  6. Travel: To have an opportunity to explore new places throughout the year.
  7. Respect: To be acknowledged for doing a good job every now and then.

Catalyst Challenge Worksheet

Here’s the link to download:

If you have any questions/comments/thoughts, feel free to contact me at


2 thoughts on “catalyst challenge, day 8: desired work values

  1. Very timely posting. Have been thinking a lot lately about my work situation and how to make it work for me. My income is not enough in today’s economy and ageing out of the work force is a real thing. My solution for myself, as I retire in less than ten years, is to find a way to make my situation work for me. I have also looked at what I want to do after retirement and am making moves in that direction. The list of desired work values fit right in with my planning and decision making. Thanks.

    • Yes, I’ve been thinking a lot about what happens after retirement as well, although that’s happening in 4+ months for me. Don’t know if you’re interested in creating a little side gig to help you out, but if so, I can help with that. I’m currently teaching a Side Hustle class and it’s amazing how simple things we do and have every day can turn into additional income streams!

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