What are your work values?

Knowing what you value is important when planning your life. Find out your work values.

How do you like to work?

Before deciding on a particular job, it's useful to understand how you like to work and what sorts of working conditions you prefer.


What hours do you want to work? You may want to work evenings so you can train for sport during the day or to work part-time because of your children or hobbies. 

Job security or risk

While some may like to work from contract to contract or own their own business, you might like a more steady job with low risk of the job changing.

Work environment

Some people say they’d rather do anything than sit behind a desk all day, others may find the comfort of the office ideal. Think about whether you like indoor or outdoor work, and whether you like a quiet or a busy and noisy workplace.

Working with others

Think about whether you want to work alone or with others. Do you like meeting a wide variety of people, or do you prefer to work with only a few people? Would you like to lead others?

Variety of work

You may prefer jobs where you get to do a variety of things each day, and where you are never sure what is going to happen. Or, you may prefer to stick to a routine, so you always know what you are doing and what is expected.


You should also consider whether you want to be challenged by your work – and risk making mistakes – or whether you prefer using the skills that you have to do a job well every time.


Do you expect your job to be fun, or are you happy to have your fun outside of work and just work to get paid? Do you want your career to be your passion?

Dirty, dangerous and difficult work

Not everyone can work in dangerous situations like in combat or in difficult situations like funeral directing. Do you have the mental skills to cope with this type of work? 

Personal, political and cultural values

Consider your beliefs and values. What type of work would make you feel uncomfortable? For example, a vegetarian would not enjoy working in an butchery. 

What do you value in a career?

Fill out the worksheet below to help you identify your work values. 

Vaughan Rowsell, founder of software company Vend, talks about his work values and the values behind the Vend brand. (Video - 1:44 mins).

Jake: Who and what during your career and life has inspired you?

Vaughan: My mother, because she's just an amazing woman and she never let any obstacle get in her way. She was a paraplegic, and she raised me and my brothers as a solo mother and she was a pretty inspirational woman and that was the one biggest lesson that I took away from life with Mum is that you just do it hard and you don't let any obstacle get in your way. As long as you retain a positive outlook in life, nothing is impossible, there is no such thing as a problem that you can't solve.

That's what I learned pretty early on is trusting other people, you've got smart people around you, delegate and trust them that they will go away and find the right answer and then when they come back to you trust that. And it's such a liberating feeling as well because as one person, if you want to grow something from where it is today to something big, you need to make sure that it scales.

We're very intentional about our approach with our brand because we're dealing in a space that is kind of boring, retail software, it's not the most exciting, but retail as an industry is all about brand and excitement, and we also just reflected that on our cultural norms with like, the things that we valued like looking after people, having fun and having a bit of a quirky sense of humour.

Jake: What do you think is good advice?

Vaughan: Start. Like now. Number two, surround yourself with other people who can help, and number three just don't stop; keep going.

Updated 19 Dec 2018