What do you value in a career?

When you understand what you value most, finding a career and an employer that closely fits your values can increase your job satisfaction and overall happiness.

Finding a career you love is priceless! Too often, people don’t take the time to reflect on what is important to them and what they value when choosing a career. We bring our values with us where ever we go.  They are an important part of who we are, what we believe, what motivates us and often affects how we conduct and present ourselves to others. According to Michigan State University Extension, when you understand what you value most, finding a career and an employer that closely fits your values can increase your job satisfaction and overall happiness. 

Many things can contribute to job satisfaction. According to a 2012 research report by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) on Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement, the top two factors ranked as important in job satisfaction where 1) an opportunity to use skills and abilities and 2) job security.  Not surprisingly, pay/compensation ranked in the top 5 factors over the last ten years, but only made it to the number one spot twice in this same time period.

There are both intrinsic and extrinsic motivators that can make a job more fulfilling. Intrinsic motivation occurs when people engage in tasks or activities that are personally enjoyable.  The reward is intangible and comes from within the person.  Extrinsic motivators are more tangible rewards and come from an outside source such as a person’s pay or grades.

What internally motivates you in a job or career?

  • Independence; doing things on your own, with little supervision
  • Achievement; ability to accomplish and complete tasks successfully
  • Variety; trying new things and  doing different activities
  • Service; helping others or the community
  • Creativity; coming up with new ideas and using your imagination
  • Challenge; taking risks, experimenting and solving problems
  • Recognition; appreciation for work, advancing in career and being noticed by others

What externally motivates you in a job or career?

  • Compensation including your pay, medical and retirement benefits
  • Work environment such as the location, hours and physical space hours
  • Relationships with your co-workers and supervisors

Michigan 4-H Youth Development can assist your search in recognizing your values through career exploration tools and curriculum resources such as Wild over Work, Get in the Act and soon to be released, Build your Future: Choices…Connections…Careers.

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