Career Development

Why Core Values Matter in Advancing Your Career

Core values are fundamental beliefs that guide your interactions with your company and coworkers. Core values are traits that are developed over a lifetime that become ingrained in our personal and professional lives. This article explains the different core values, why they are important to your job and why they matter when advancing your career.

Why core values matter

Core values matter because they can demonstrate an employee’s value and commitment to their company. Core values are the beliefs, priorities and motivations that influence decisions and drive professional development. 

Core values can help you advance your career by:

  • Instilling a solid work ethic
  • Giving you the ability to mesh with corporate culture
  • Setting the tone for work or action

Discovering your own core values can be beneficial when writing your resume or applying for a job. When you identify your core values, you can highlight your strengths on your resume and respond to behavioral interview questions with confidence.

Common core values in the workplace

Core values in the workplace may be similar to personal core values but are used to benefit your career.

Here are some of the most common core values:

  • Dependability
  • Loyalty
  • Open-mindedness
  • Consistency
  • Teamwork
  • Honesty
  • Efficiency
  • Motivation
  • Optimism

Dependability

Dependable employees can finish a task or start a new one without a supervisor instructing them to do so. Reliable people know they need to begin tasks or complete them and know how to use resources—like calendars, apps, team members—to accomplish them. Dependable people aren’t afraid to ask for direction or assistance.

Here are some tips to improve your dependability:

  • Show up for work on time
  • Produce consistent work
  • Meet deadlines and milestones
  • Apply company strategies to each assignment

Loyalty

Someone who is loyal believes in their company’s mission or values. A loyal employee works to implement new ideas and strategies that match the company’s goals. Loyal employees avoid negative communication and work toward positive and successful results. Loyalty is a value identified by how you view and work with your company.

Here are some examples of ways to show loyalty:

  • Be trustworthy
  • Be supportive
  • Take pride in your work and accomplishments
  • Maintain healthy boundaries

Open-mindedness

Employees who welcome new ideas often encourage positive responses from coworkers and management. An open-minded person is one who is willing to see an issue or idea from all angles in order to form strategies and find solutions. Open-minded people work well with others because they are governed by inclusion and the success of their team. 

Here are some techniques you can use to practice being open-minded:

  • Listen to others
  • Challenge yourself and others with new opportunities
  • Welcome constructive criticism
  • Consider an opposing opinion

Consistency

Consistency is a vital core value because it indicates a commitment to quality. Consistent people demonstrate that they will routinely turn in quality work or drive successful campaigns. Consistent employees are recognized for their ability to meet expectations and make valuable contributions. Consider setting certain goals and learn to prioritize to put consistency into everyday practice.

Here are some tips to improve your consistency:

  • Meet deadlines
  • Organize your files
  • Focus on details
  • Keep promises
  • Deliver consistent quality

Teamwork

Exhibiting the core value of teamwork leads to stronger working relationships. An employee who values teamwork is likely to look for solutions to problems and consult members of the team for suggestions and ideas. Team-building skills can prepare you for leadership roles and teach you to be an effective team member.

Here are some ways you can be a better team member:

  • Show commitment
  • Use active listening skills
  • Be reliable and assuming responsibility
  • Maintain task flexibility and reliability 

Honesty

Honesty is a core value both in and out of the workplace. An honest person knows their own limits and doesn’t accept more than they can accomplish. Their peers can rely on them to communicate effectively to support relationships and improve communication between coworkers and management. Honesty shows that you trust yourself and your company.

Here are some ways you can work towards being honest:

  • Take responsibility for actions or results
  • Keep promises and commitments
  • Show respect for other’s ideas and opinions
  • Communicate with tact and empathy

Efficiency

An efficient person is someone who knows how to look for and use resources to accomplish a task or assignment. Efficiency saves the company time and money and could allow you to accept more responsibility. Efficient people form clear goals around their work and find ways to improve productivity. 

Here are some tips to help you become more efficient:

  • Keep goals clear and reachable
  • Prioritize and take action
  • Keep distractions to a minimum
  • Know your resources and how to use them

Motivation

Motivated employees might inspire others around them to try harder or achieve more. A motivated person seeks out the positive aspects of their role and tasks. Motivation also means employees don’t wait to find out what is next, but they take control and do what needs to be done. 

Here are some strategies you can use to increase your motivation:

  • Set attainable goals
  • Maintain a positive attitude
  • Celebrate accomplishments
  • Attend workshops or seminars to keep learning

Optimism

People who are optimistic about their present role and their future in the company maintain a positive outlook. Optimism is an important value as it helps to avoid negative thoughts or communication and motivates others as well. Optimism helps an employee stay focused on the job and offer support to others.

Here are some tips to help you maintain an optimistic outlook:

  • Practice self-care
  • Focus on the things that work well
  • Stay focused on the goal
  • Practice forgiveness 
  • Turn negatives into positives 

Developing your core values can advance your career while learning more about yourself. Understanding what you consider to be important can lead to bigger opportunities and career advancements.