Getting to Know Your Work Values

Our work values influence our job search, whether we realize it or not. Work values, defined by O*NET Data, are “global aspects of work that are important to a person’s satisfaction.” While there are many work values, let’s review the six that O*NET Data refers to as “universal work values”:

  1. Achievement – Occupations that satisfy this work value are results-oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. (Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.)
  2. Independence – Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. (Creativity, Responsibility, and Autonomy)
  3. Recognition – Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, the potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. (Advancement, Authority, Recognition, and Social Status)
  4. Relationships – Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. (Co-workers, Moral Values, and Social Service)
  5. Support – Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. (Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations, and Supervision: Technical)
  6. Working Conditions – Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security, and good working conditions. (Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety, and Working Conditions)

How would you rate these six work values in order of importance?

To rank these values from most to least important, go to, then hover your cursor over Explore Careers. Under the first column – Self-assessments, click on Work values.

Next, click on Work Values Matcher.

Then, click on GET STARTED.

Under Get Started:, follow instructions 1, 2, and 3.


From the “Results” page, print, email, or download your results, and review the chart that shows how you rated your work values from most important to least important.

You can also learn more about each work value – Achievement, Independence, Recognition, Relationships, Support, and Working Conditions – such as: learn about the characteristics of a job or workplace that reflect these values, and discover how to learn about a company’s values.

Each value includes a list of questions appropriate for research, informational, and job interviews to learn how an employer views these values. If you want to ask employers or networking contacts any of these questions, consider rephrasing the questions to fit your speaking style.

With self-assessments like CareerOneStop’s Work Values Matcher, we can better understand our work values and learn how to evaluate occupations, jobs, and careers to ensure we’re pursuing opportunities that best match the work values most important to us.

Josie Toth is a Regional Facilitator for Workforce Solutions. She facilitates job search skills and career exploration classes in the 13-county Houston-Galveston area. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies and enjoys encouraging others in their pursuit of meaningful work.

Author: Blogforce

Workforce Solutions provides comprehensive human resource services for businesses and residents of the 13-county Houston-Galveston Gulf Coast region. Workforce Solutions helps employers solve workforce-related business problems and area residents build careers, so that both can better compete in the changing worldwide economy. Our Employer Service Division provides personalized service to help employers find qualified applicants for their jobs, build the skills and expertise of their new and current employees, and address human resource needs. We operate multiple community-based career offices in 13 Texas Gulf Coast counties to help residents get a job, keep a job or get a better job – offering placement, career counseling and financial aid services. We partner with the region’s businesses, educational institutions, civic organizations and community leaders to find solutions to current and future labor needs of industries that are vital to the region and its economy.

%d bloggers like this: