It is normal for a company to have a set of core values, used to aid in decision making and to establish a culture that is developed purposefully rather than by accident. It is normal that the employees of that company will have similar values, in fact if their values are not aligned then it is rare that a person would stay working for a company with very different values than the individual.
“It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.” Roy Disney
Companies will take time to develop their core values, they will probably have a strategic planning exercise involving key stake holders, perhaps with consulting advice. The process will be structured and given some importance, because at the end of that process the core values will define the very nature of the company.
How often do individuals really think about their “core values’?
I would suggest that most of us come to know and understand who we are as we mature. We may surprise ourselves from time to time, but generally we have a good understanding of what our limits are and what is important to us. It is also fairly natural that these change over time, as we are exposed to different influences, but at our very core (good word) we know what we stand for.
So … do you try to align yourself with an employer that has similar values to you?
“Find people who share your values, and you’ll conquer the world together.” John Ratzenberger
Is one of your core values earning as much money as you can, above other considerations?
Are you content to earn a wage, and receive no training … or is personal development and lifelong learning important to you?
Do you choose to work at the most convenient employer, with no thought to their community involvement … or is that even a factor when you look for your next job?
I am not suggesting that people compromise their earning potential for other factors, but I am suggesting that a balanced look at your fit with a potential employer should be a part of your employment considerations. If you are totally unaligned with your new employer’s core values then it is unlikely that you will be very content no matter what you are being paid, or how short your commute is.
Take some time to really understand what is important to you.
Ask yourself whether you really believe in the environment, supporting charities, training, team based environments … or is the size of your pay cheque the only consideration?
Can you “muscle through” the BS of an abusive boss, the micro management of a “hard nosed” corporate culture or the inequity displayed by companies that don’t value diversity?
“Values are like fingerprints. Nobody’s are the same but you leave ‘em all over everything you do.” Elvis Presley
Do you really know what you stand for?
Once you do … for those who are fortunate enough to choose their employer, try to make sure you are somewhat aligned with their core values.
Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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