Identifying Job Values


Identifying Job Values

Learning Objective

To help students identify what job values are and their importance in choosing a career

Materials Needed

Handouts: “Job Values Inventory” and “Work Values Clarification”


Values, rank or prioritize, compatible, benefits, salary, job security, working conditions,

Environment, organization, promotion/advancement, prestige, respect, value system


Basic skills: Speaking

Thinking skills: Decision making

Information: Acquires and evaluates information

Instructions for Conducting the Activity

Explain to students that as part of the career awareness process, they have had an opportunity to identify skills they have.

Another step in the career awareness process is identifying what they value in a job. Their personal value system – the things in life they find most important that influence and direct their lives – contributes to their job selection.

Group brainstorm:

Ask students to name things that are important to them in a job. Record the list on the board. Ask students to say why the things are important to them.

Guiding questions include:

  • What is more important to you – a good salary or work hours that meet your needs?
  • Is it important to you to move up or advance in your job?
  • Does it matter where your work is located? In your neighborhood ? Accessible by public transportation ? Not more than a one-hour commute?
  • How important is it that you get along with your coworkers ? Supervisors ?   Customers ?
  • Do you need health benefits? Insurance ?
  • Do you want a job that will last for a long time? One that is not likely to have lay-offs?
  • If there are students who are employed, ask them if their values are different today than when they first started working? For instance, was money the #1 value to begin with and now is it health benefits?

After the students have discussed this, distribute the “Job Values Inventory” handout. Review the checklist and what each item means. Relate the items back to the list they developed on the board.

In class, or for homework, ask each student to rank the items from 1 to 12 with 1 being most important and 12 the least important. Have them bring it to class the next day for another job values lesson.

Extension Activity

This work values clarification activity helps students look at the influences on their own values. Explain that a value is an idea or thing that we believe is important and will benefit our life. We learn values when we are young children and gradually expand and apply them to our lives as we get older.

Distribute the “Work Values Clarification” handout and have students answer the questions on their own. Then either compile a group list on the board or have students pair up to share their answers.

From “Personal Management: An Integrated Curriculum,” Patti McLaughlin, Curriculum Developer, Adult Basic and Literacy Educators Network of Washington, 1993



Note: This exercise can be done on your own without being in a classroom setting.



Integrating Career Awareness into the ABE & ESOL Classroom | Section II, Lesson 10: Identifying Job Values |




Author: Dennis Hickey

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