Why It’s Important to Find an Employer Who Shares Your Social Values

What if you could get your dream job with everything you could ever want from a job? You’d take it, right? Of course you would.

Now imagine this. Your same dream job is on offer but this time it comes with a catch. This time the employer wouldn’t share any of your values. If you’re honest; they’re deceitful. If you love the environment; they’re killing the Great Barrier Reef. Whatever you hold most valuable, they are against it.

Would you still take the job?

Social Values: The Hidden Glue of Long-Term Employment

There are many things that can help you to love your job: great colleagues, caring and talented management, fantastic pay, awesome location… the list goes on. One of the stickiest factors though — that is something that will make you literally stick around — is social values. More specifically, you will enjoy work and stay with an employer longer when they share the same values as you. Working for a company that cares about the same issues as you can help to drive long-lasting satisfaction.

Studies have shown that happy workers are more productive and stay with their job longer. If you’re sick of your job or currently looking for a job with a new company, considering how their values align with yours can pay off in the long run.

Why It Matters

When looking for jobs, an employer’s social values might not be the most important factor for you. Things like a high salary may be more desirable. Unfortunately, the thrill of securing a high pay or high status role doesn’t last forever and the feeling eventually wears off. Working in a position where you feel as though you are making a difference is one way to get long-term satisfaction. This can be made even better by working for a company where everyone is working together to make a difference. 

Your job will feel easier and be more enjoyable when working towards a shared goal. Challenges you face can also be made to feel easier with your company working alongside you. Remember, what you do each day at the company is largely determined by the business’ values. When both employer and worker share the same broad goals and desires, it becomes easier to understand a business’ decision making process. This helps cut down on clashes between managers and coworkers. The reason why it’s so important to find an employer who matches your values is because at the end of the day you will be happier at work.

Working Out Your Values

Before you can start comparing companies you need to know what you will be comparing them to. So, first thing first — what are your values? This can be a tricky question. Another way to think about it is – what is important to you? Have you always placed a lot of emphasis on helping people? You probably are an altruistic person. Or maybe you love creativity and innovation. This might mean you’re artistic and forward thinking.

Whatever your personal values, it is important that you understand them and how they fit into your life. Someone who is passionate about leadership may see themselves in management positions later in their career. Once you can see how your values affect your work goals you can think about matching them to an employer.

Intrinsic vs Extrinsic Values

One thing to bear in mind when considering your values against a company’s. The types of values you have can be placed into two categories. Intrinsic values are ones that help with doing a particular job or career and include things like helping people and leadership. Extrinsic values on the other hand are things that the job can offer like high pay or room for advancement. It’s important to understand how both of these affect your decision when picking a job. While extrinsic values are obviously important, long-term satisfaction will come from finding common ground with an employer’s intrinsic values.

Finding Out What Matters to a Company

Okay, now you know why you need to match your values to a company. The next step is actually finding out a employer’s values. Luckily, most of them promote their values. You can usually find the information on a company’s About page where they state what the company’s main mission is. It might even be in an section titled “Values”. If not, you may have to do a little detective work.

One way to get a feel for a company’s values is to see what initiatives they are a part of. A company that promotes its work with animal rights organisation or works closely with the homeless is likely to suit someone who values compassion. Sometimes this can be more useful because you can see who is walking the walk.

If you can’t find anything or need some further clarification, you might need to be proactive and…

Ask Them!

One of the most daunting aspects of the application process is being asked, “so, do you have any questions for us?”. Don’t panic. Use this opportunity to find out exactly what type of company you’re applying to join.

Word of warning: If the interviewer has already spoken to you about their values make sure you word your question carefully or ask about something specific they haven’t mentioned yet. If you do this right, it will help you nail your interview. It will also help you to find out information that can help you decide if the company is the right one for you. Remember, the interview is as much about the company deciding if you’re a good fit as it is for you to decide if the job or the company is right for you. 

Demonstrate Your Values

Looking for a company that matches your values can be tiring but don’t forget that they are probably looking for a match too. Demonstrating to them that you are passionate about the same issues can be a great way to impress the interviewer and show them you would be a good fit for the company.

Part of the reason why the application process involves filling in so many details is so the employer can get a feel for who you are. What makes you tick? Why would you be a useful asset to the business? Let your values shine through in your answers to their questions. If you love completing challenging tasks or helping others – tell them!

Employers love to hire people that share their values. And why wouldn’t they? Workers that connect with the employer over values are more likely to:

  • Have greater job satisfaction
  • Feel more motivated
  • Immerse themselves deeper in their role
  • See an increase in productivity levels

Let the business know what matters to you and why it should matter to them.

Trying the Company On For Size

Okay, you’ve worked out what matters to you and the companies you want to work for. Now you need to think about how your values align and whether or not they will be a good fit for you. This can be one of the hardest steps because, you can only ever make an educated guess as to what a company is really like behind the scenes. You won’t know for sure until you start working there. That is why it’s so important for you to do the research beforehand so you can make the most informed decision possible.

Good Fit

When you have a good fit with the company – you feel as though you are working with the company towards a shared goal. You’ll understand what the employer is trying to achieve and want to work with them to get it done. You will feel respected and will gain satisfaction from knowing you’ve worked on something important to you.

Great Fit

A great fit company will go even further. Not only will your match perfectly with the company, you’ll also match with the rest of your team and your supervisor. This means that everyone shares the same broad goals and wants to work together to achieve them. Your shared passion for your goals will help you stay motivated at work.

Bad Fit

A bad fit will feel like pulling teeth. Sometimes you might think you’re just banging your head against the wall with people who don’t understand where you’re coming from. You’ll feel as though the company is fighting against you every step of the way. Although you may not realise straight away, once you do, you’ll start looking for the next job.

Picking a Company

Social values should never be the only thing you consider when looking for a job. Things like pay, location, and flexibility are important too and should be considered while you search for the job that’s right for you. Where social values come into play is their ability to elevate an okay job into a good job and a good job into a great one. Finding an employer that matches your social values can keep you happier and more productive at work. This has the flow-on effect of increasing your job security and the likelihood that you are kept on for a long time. Not to mention that employers are going to appreciate you more which may come in handy down the line when you’re looking for that promotion.

At the end of the day, if you find two jobs that both look great but only one truly matches your values. Take that one. You’ll never regret it.

Tell Us More

What’s your experience like working with companies with different values? Have you ever worked for someone that was the total opposite of you?

Let me know in the comments below!

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