Values. What does this word mean to you?  For most, it reflects what is important to you in the way you live and work. Your values are a factor to how you build your career and who you surround yourself with in life.

Let’s play a little game. How would you rank the following in order of importance in your everyday life?

  • Honesty
  • Trust
  • Caring
  • Respect
  • Fairness
  • Courage
  • Optimism
  • Commitment

It’s difficult right? They all seem like values we all would like to live by.

Let’s look at how values govern your day to day life. We want to be able to engage with people around us, family, friends, partners etc., and feel like we are respected, treated fairly, committed, cared for and able to trust. These are important to us and how they are demonstrated to us (and how we demonstrate to others).

If you can demonstrate these values within your personal life, how valuable will it be to demonstrate these in work life? Unbelievably valuable? And we want them reciprocated just the same as in our personal life, correct?


It will be important to keep this in mind as you build your career. Essentially, find companies and teams to work for with the same values as you. Teresa Gabriele, Lead Career Strategy Coach with asks, “Do your choices reflect your values? Are you asking the right questions in interviews and networking opportunities that will allow you to make this happen?  Some do not believe that they have as much power in the interview as the interviewer.  If you have a level of standard you expect to work in, you will ask the right questions to learn more about the company and how they fit your values.”

Consider the following questions when you are interviewing with prospective companies to ensure their environments and corporate cultures fit your personal values:

  1. What does the company do to support their employees?
  2. How does the company treat its employees?
  3. Which causes are important to the company?
  4. How does the company support social, environmental, and not-for-profit causes?
  5. Ask yourself, how important are my values and how well do they align to the company’s?

Ask all these questions and strive to get the answers to them before you accept a role with a new company.  Investigating the corporate values of an organization, the values that create their corporate culture, is extremely important as you build your career. Knowing the company’s corporate culture and values then aligning them to yours is the key to long-term success. It will be the difference between loving going into work or hating going into work.

Money, a great leader, an awesome company with excellent values that support social causes, are all important factors to take into consideration on your career development journey. Investigating how a company operates is just as important as the kind of opportunities that you will have to help build your career within that company. Do some homework on the company and align their values with yours for long term success.

Below are different types of corporate cultures and to help you decide which is right for you and your career.

  1. CLAN CULTURE: also known as Collaborate Culture. This type focuses on teamwork and togetherness. Consider if you make independent decisions or if you prefer getting everyone on board first.
  2. ADHOCRACY CULTURE: also known as Create Culture. Used in start-ups a lot it is based on high risk, growth, and out-of-this-world ideas. More aggressive, less stable, focus on innovation and quick thinking to break things.
  3. MARKET CULTURE: also known as Compete Culture. Emphasis is placed on results, goal-oriented, highly motivated. It can be high-pressure but high reward as well. There could be constant competition.
  4. HIERARCHY CULTURE: also known as Control Culture. These are structured and process oriented. There is less innovation and free-thinking with decisions based on existing procedures. There is security and predictability but less flexibility.

Ok, now the fun part! Think about your past or even current employer. Which one do they fall into? Do you enjoy that environment? Is your career growing there? Is it time to shake things up with a new kind of corporate culture? Knowing yourself and where you thrive can help you make better decisions about the companies you interview with or work for.  Making meaningful moves in your career takes time and investigating things like your values and corporate cultures will be worth it long term.