How to identify my professional values

Published on 05/04/2024

How to identify my professional values

Published on 05/04/2024
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How to identify my professional values

When considering a new job or career, professional values count as one of the most important guiding factors. But how do I identify my professional values?

Understanding what aspects are valued in a specific professional sector can help you identify the most important professional values—those that will help you find a job that better fits your goals and personality.

What are professional values

The most basic definition of values is that they are a set of beliefs or opinions that influence how you live your life and personally characterize who you are as an individual.

Values play an important role in shaping how you respond to situations and how you set goals, especially at a professional level. They represent the beliefs you have about what is important in your work and what makes it meaningful.

In short, these types of values are the ones that guide and drive you in your professional career and will help you decide on a potential company or job position.

Values vary greatly from person to person. What matters to one person may mean little to another. Therefore, it is essential to understand your own system of professional values.

Once you discover your professional values, you can use this knowledge to guide your job choices. So, how do I identify my professional values?

How do I identify my professional values

There are different methods through which it is possible to identify a person’s professional values.

Below, we explain two efficient alternatives, one of which is more complex than the other, but both will guide you towards defining your professional values more effectively.

Identify my values through a rating list

One of the most common ways to identify personal values is to look at a list of examples and rate their level of importance.

Rate the list on a scale of one to ten. Then, examine some of the highest-rated values and choose between six and ten that should carry the most weight when considering your career and professional alternatives.

Although the number of core values ​​that people have may vary, it is usually best to narrow them down to between five and ten. If you have more than 10, ask yourself what values ​​are essential to your life.

It is a process that needs to be thought through; perhaps you want to leave it for a day and come back to it later to see if it truly reflects your core values ​​and if they are in the correct order.

If you don’t know where to start, here are the most common values, which will help you think about what is important for your well-being and professional productivity:

  • Commitment
  • Ethics
  • Tolerance
  • Humility
  • Solidarity
  • Responsibility
  • Effort
  • Respect
  • Loyalty
  • Adaptability
  • Leadership
  • Trust
  • Generosity
  • Altruism
  • Inclusion
  • Patience

Generally, values imply qualities and opportunities that enhance your life emotionally and intellectually. Identifying and achieving them allows you to feel challenged, inspired, and fulfilled.

Identify my professional values through categorization

There is also a categorization that will help you determine and define your professional values ​​better. It is a deeper work that covers a broader context and generates a more concrete analysis, as well as effective identification.

It is about organizing values ​​into three key categories: Intrinsic, extrinsic, and lifestyle.


Intrinsic values ​​relate to how the actual tasks involved in performing job duties make you feel. They are intangible values ​​because you control them, based on your own efforts, and they are what drive and fulfill you personally. Some common intrinsic professional values ​​include:

  • Companionship: It’s about the ability to develop and maintain beneficial and constructive relationships.
  • Collaboration: It involves the ability to help people work towards a better future. It also refers to participation with other people.
  • Creativity: It’s the ability to be innovative and artistic in performing duties.
  • Problem-solving: The ability to perform new or difficult tasks or devise new solutions.
  • Honesty: It involves the ability to be reliable and sincere in an environment where transparency is one of the bases of performance.


Extrinsic values ​​are what you get from the work you do. To identify them, you can rely on your work experiences since some professional values ​​are more related to the environment and conditions in which the work is performed.

These are tangible because they are controlled by external forces, in this case, the employer. Career extrinsic values ​​generally relate to financial rewards but also include social benefits that may come with a particular occupation. Some professional values ​​can be identified through factors such as:

  • Compensation: Relates to the ability to receive adequate compensation for work done.
  • Autonomy: Refers to the ability to perform duties as one sees fit, meeting objectives.
  • Recognition: Relates to the ability to be recognized for one’s work.
  • Work modality: Do you prefer a traditional work organization or do you opt for business modernization models? In short, telework or in-person work?
  • Technological innovation: The ability to work and develop in a cutting-edge environment, favoring your productivity with the use of new technologies and management software.
  • Hierarchy: The preference for horizontal or traditional management.


Lifestyle values ​​are the most subjective, relating to how and where you want to live and how you spend your time outside of work.

They strongly relate to your intrinsic and extrinsic professional values. Lifestyle and professional values ​​can be identified through factors such as:

  • Location: Where would you like to live and work? In a rural area, a suburban area, or do you prefer city life?
  • Work-life balance: Refers to time outside of work to explore hobbies or spend time with family and friends.

Regardless of the rating system, the important thing is to have a clear idea of ​​what matters most to you.

Remember that this is a very personal and completely subjective work; it is a mistake to think of comparing your process with someone else’s.

Why it’s important to know how to identify my professional values

Identifying your professional values ​​helps improve decision-making when it comes to choosing a new job position. It also provides you with security and strength.

Our values ​​tend to define our priorities; therefore, doing work that aligns with your values ​​means that throughout your career development, you will be happy and satisfied.

Once you have identified your professional values, don’t be afraid to inquire about the organization’s values ​​or the values ​​of key people you will work with, as these are often overlooked aspects but are a crucial part of workplace motivation and productivity.

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