Personal values vs company values

September 25, 2017 3 mins read

Check out this article from our Career Ally Hub to explore more details about personal values and company values

Everyone has personal values, i.e. certain things they find most important in life. This also extends to the world of work; your workplace values largely determine your working style and preferences.

Similarly, employers will often adhere to certain core values which define the company culture and how the business is lead. Alignment with them will, most likely, be a deciding factor when recruiting new employees.

Being aware of your personal values and those of the company you're applying to will allow you to determine whether the job – and the business as a whole – is right for you, as well as discovering how you can be right for them. Here's how to find out:

  • Personal values

You might not be aware of it, but your personal values inform many of your day-to-day activities or decisions. For example, you may go to the gym every morning which can be linked to your valuing a healthy lifestyle. Or perhaps you only buy ethically sourced food, which means you value fairness.

If you take the time to do so, you may be able to identify a whole list of values simply by asking yourself questions like 'what makes me happy?' and 'which goals do I want to reach?' Ranking them will help you to establish your core values: the ones that matter the most.

Then it's time to consider how this translates to your professional life. Is there anything specific you look for in a job – flexible working hours, a strong team dynamic, a clear goal to work towards? Use your values as a reference point to narrow down the jobs that would work for you.

  • Company values

Company values and personal values are much the same in the fact that they are both markers of identity, acting as guiding principles for what is said and done. However, while personal values are for us to uncover, company values are consciously chosen and pre-set.

Ideally, they function as a force of unity, creating a healthy working environment in which everyone works towards a common goal. A misalignment of values amongst employees can seriously damage working relationships and productivity as that common purpose is jeopardised. Businesses will therefore look for people who all share the company values.

There are some common workplace values that most companies look for including honesty and integrity, strong work ethic and professionalism. It's important however that you research each company individually. The company website, social media pages and job ad all hold valuable information through the language that is used and the posts that are shared.

  • A happy marriage

Ultimately it comes down to comparing notes. Find out if the job is worth pursuing by asking yourself questions like: 'does this job satisfy my goal of...; 'will it allow me the flexibility to..., 'is there any aspect that might cause me unease?'; 'is there room for compromise?' Then consider in which ways you'd be a good fit for them and emphasise these attributes in your application.

Neither you or your employer will benefit from you being stuck in the wrong role, so approach your job search will self-awareness and honesty, maintaining a deep understanding of your personal values and those of the company you're applying to. This way you'll be able to quickly discern between the good opportunities and the bad, and apply to that dream job with confidence.

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Source: career development articles

Marlon Mai's picture
Marlon Mai
Managing Director, Greater China