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Dawn Rosenberg McKay

Consider Your Values When Choosing a Career

By January 30, 2012

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Do you think earning a high salary would make you love your job? You may be thinking, "well, it wouldn't hurt." Making a lot of money may make an unsatisfying job a bit more palatable, but it won't make as big a difference as you think. If you don't like your job, it doesn't matter much how much you get paid.

While money doesn't lead to job satisfaction, other factors do, for example, how closely a job matches your values. Values are beliefs and ideas that are important to you. Let's say that among your work values—those beliefs and ideas that are related to your career— helping others, leisure (time away from work) and autonomy (working on your own) are the most important. If your job involved selling widgets under close supervision of your manager, six days a week, 12 hours a day, would you be satisfied with it? Would it matter how much money you were making if you weren't helping people, having an adequate amount of time off from work and the ability to work on your own? Sure, maybe you can handle a job that didn't match your values for a short time, but could you do it for several years?

More: Identifying Your Work Values

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