How to Find a Company That Shares Your Values
Learn how to find a workplace that lines up with the causes and issues you care about — and help make a difference together.
When it comes to career advice, most of us have probably been told, at one time or another, to follow our passion. You might also have received more pragmatic advice and been told to focus on finding a job that will pay the bills. Believe it or not, making money and finding personal fulfillment at work don’t have to be mutually exclusive goals. And if you’re anything like most people, you’re probably looking for a combination of both.
But how do you find that dream job? And how do you determine what you’re most passionate about? Keep reading for our advice on finding a job that lines up with your values.
What Do We Mean by Values?
When we say “values,” we’re referring specifically to issues like diversity and inclusion, mentorship programs, gender equality, environmental stewardship and combating homelessness. Some organizations’ values are tied directly to their products, like Tide’s Loads of Hope mobile laundry units. Sometimes they tackle equality issues, as My Black is Beautiful did when they released the short film “The Look.” For many companies, their values are part of their “benefits” in that they give employees the freedom to pursue pro bono projects or volunteer during work hours.
Identify What You Value Most
You can determine your values by thinking about what you would do with your time if you didn’t need a job — if you won the lottery or if your side business sold for seven figures. After your three-week vacation to a private island, how would you fill your time? If you would spend your time volunteering for a specific cause, odds are there are organizations — for-profit and nonprofit — that already align with those values.
Take a moment to write down the meaningful, world-changing initiatives you would be a part of if money weren’t an issue. What are you passionate about? Why? Be honest with yourself about what values and causes jibe with you, not what you feel like you’re supposed to care about.
How to Find Out What a Company Values
Now that you’re clear on your personal values, it’s time to look for employers that share those values. Before pursuing an opportunity, look on the company’s website and social media pages to determine its causes and stances. That way, once you’re in the interview, you can ask for more details about how they bring those values to life. You can also ask what personal characteristics the employer and interviewer value for the job in question. After the interview, feel free to reach out to peers who work there (or used to work there), and check out company review sites to get a good sense about whether an organization lives up to who they say they are.
If you’re looking for a job, volunteer roles speak volumes on a résumé, and there’s even a section on LinkedIn for showcasing causes you care about. People are drawn to passionate people. Even if your interests don’t line up directly with your career field, they’ll demonstrate your well-roundedness and what kind of worker you are. So update your résumé and online profiles to include those extra details about yourself.
Be the Change You Want to See in the Workplace
So far, these tips have been meant for someone who is currently job searching, but what if you like your current job and it’s just missing that extra something? Start your own group or initiative! Your manager and HR department can help you figure out how to bring it to life, and you’ll be more engaged in the workplace because you’ll be bonding with others over a common cause.
You probably won’t find the perfect workplace right away. You might move from job to job, and that’s OK. If you have this nagging feeling that a job doesn’t match up with who you are and what you value, then you’re probably right. No job is perfect, but you should seek out a place where you feel like you can bring your authentic self to work. We know you’ll find it if you haven’t already.