We often hear about how we should work for a company that is aligned with our values.

A company whose mission is something we can get fully behind.

Excellent advice for sure.

Yet, what we value can feel obvious and nebulous at the same time.

I have created a fun exercise to help you get clarity on what matters to you most.

Then look at the work you are doing and who you are doing it for through a different lens.

10 steps to determining your values: 

1.  Grab a small notebook and pen

2.  Go to a favorite room in your house.

3.  Look around the room and write down the name of those things that capture your eye and generates a feeling of joy inside you when you observe it. Consider knick-knacks, paint color or the wallpaper, door knobs, rugs, pictures on the wall, blankets on the couch, the couch.

Find a quiet place and settle in for approximately 30 minutes.

4.  Next to each object explore these 2 questions: Why do I love this object? What meaning does it hold for me?

Example: I love this pillow because it is my favorite shade of blue. The pillow holds meaning for me because it was given to me by my beloved grandmother.

5.  Associate the meaning to a value: This pillow reminds me of my grandmother. I value family.

6.  Keep going down the list determining what you love about the object and the meaning it holds. Then find a value that is attached to that meaning

7.  Make a list of all the values you listed:

  • Family
  • Fun
  • Spirituality
  • Beauty
  • Creativity
  • Nature

8.  Rate each of the values on a scale of 0-10 with 0 being not a part of your career in any way and 10 being fully a part of your current career.

9.  Spend some time journaling about what this exercise brought up for you. What might you do with this information?


If Beauty is one of your primary values perhaps it is time to get an office with a window or add a painting to your wall.

If Nature came up for you then maybe a plant is a simple addition.

If Fun is a value and thinking about going to work tomorrow makes hearing nails on a chalkboard sound like a vacation then it is time for a new job!