What are career values and why should it matter?

Career values are those aspects of the work environment that we consider valuable. Accordingly, they form the framework of the meaning that we ascribe to our work (Rounds & Armstrong, 2005) and drive our work satisfaction. Career/work values are thus instrumental in selecting a congruent career (Armstrong, Su, & Rounds, 2011; Rounds, 1990; Rounds & Armstrong, 2005; Zytowksi, 1994). Although there are many different tests available that measure career values, this report covers research done using the Career Values Scale (CVS).

Aims and method

JvR Psychometrics investigated the relationship between career values and personality traits and types, locus of control, and verbal and numerical ability. Specifically, we looked at the CVS in relation to the Basic Traits Inventory (BTI), Locus of Control Inventory (LCI), Exam Preparation Inventory (EPI), and Numeratum and Verbatim. The sample consisted of 583 students (189 men and 320 women) in South Africa.

RESULTS

Career values and exam preparation

Several relationships between the Exam Preparation Inventory (EPI) and the CVS were found.

CVS EPI
  • Value being creative and applying new ideas
  • Focus on theories and ideas, but also on facts and details when necessary.
  • Rigorously analytical.
  • Prefer working in groups.
  • Plan and design study techniques before-hand.
  • Apply a situational and personal approach according to task requirements.
  • Value financial rewards and income;
  • Value recognition and rewards
  • More flexible and less structured.
  • Apply a situational and personal approach according to task requirements.
  • Value independence - in terms of setting their own goals and being self-reliant
  • Focus on theories and ideas.
  • More flexible and less structured.
  • Apply a situational and personal approach according to task requirements.
  • Value security
  • Studying with others.
  • Focus on facts, details and relevant data at hand.
  • More flexible and less structured.
  • Value assisting other people with their problems
  • Focus on theories and ideas.
  • Analytical.
  • Structured learning/studying activities – that will benefit them individually.
  • Value working with others
  • Focus on facts, details and relevant data.
  • More flexible and less structured.
  • Apply a situational and personal approach according to task requirements.

 

Career values and personality traits

CVS BTI
Values:
  • Personal and career development
  • Creativity and creating new ideas
  • Direct approaches when managing others
  • High Conscientiousness
  • Values making effort to help others with their problems.
  • High Agreeableness and Conscientiousness

 

Career values and locus of control

Internal locus of control was positively related to all of the career values measured by the CVS. In other words, people who believe that they have control over the outcome of events in their lives, e.g. through hard work and effort, will be more inclined to hold career values in general.

Career values and verbal and numerical reasoning.

There were no significant relationships between any of the career values and verbal and numerical reasoning. This result is not surprising, given that career values are not reflected by cognitive ability but rather by attitudes and personality (Furnham, 2005).

Conclusion

The results indicate that career values are influenced by aspects of personality. Furthermore, it was found that career values are related to study approaches. In line with previous research, there were no relationship between career values and verbal and numerical reasoning.

REFERENCES

Armstrong, P. I., Su, R., & Rounds, J. (2011). Vocational interests: The road less traveled. In T. Chamorro-Premuzic, S. von Strumm, & A. Furnham, (Eds.), Handbook of Individual Differences(pp. 608-631). Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

Furnham, A., Petrides, K. V., Tsaousis, I., Pappas, K., & Garrod, D. (2005). A cross-cultural investigation into the relationships between personality traits and work values. The Journal of Psychology, 139, 5-32.

Rounds, J. (1990). The comparative and combined utility of work value and interest data in career counselling with adults. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 37, 32-45.

Rounds, J. B., & Armstorng, I. P. (2005). Assessment of needs and values. In S. D. Brown & R. W. Lent (Eds.). Career Development and Counseling: Putting theory and research to work (pp. 305-329). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley.