Happy At Work: Align Your Values


We spend much of our lives at work. Our work lives impact how we feel about lives in general. For those who are happy and fulfilled at work, life can feel swell and peachy, fulfilling and full of zest. For those of us who aren’t - it can have the opposite effect. We can feel stuck or lost. So how do we know if we are working at the right place?

Through my different coaching experiences, I have often found that, the thing that makes people feel the happiest - or unhappiest - at work comes in large part from how their personal values align with their employer’s organizational values.

When our values align with our employer’s values, what we hold most dear is expressed in the work we do everyday.


This important lean-in of Grow Yourself, Happy At Work: Align Your Values, focuses on using what you value most to pick the right place to work.

When people pick jobs that fulfill basic psychological needs, motives, and values, they immerse themselves more in their work, experience higher levels of job satisfaction, and their productivity rises.

If you aren’t satisfied at your job, your values may not be aligned with your job’s.

happy at work

According to Dr. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, CEO of Hogan Assessments, and Professor of Business Psychology at University College London and Columbia University:

You can use your values to help you grow in your job by choosing to work at an organization that values the same things you do.

Specifically, Dr. Chamorro-Premuzic pointed out that one of the keys to feeling engaged at work is aligning your own values with those of your organization, your team, and your direct manager–when you’re all working together towards something you believe in.

So how do you determine if your values and your workplace’s values match up?

happy at work

There is a simple method for determining if your values align with organizational values.

Many businesses identify their top organizational values on their websites.

Find those values and look to see if you share at least two values or have at least two values in the same family using the Tomi Llama Values Mapping worksheet (you can get the full superpower worksheet packet for free by subscribing to the Llama Times!).

If no organizational values align one-to-one with your personal top 5 values (like a personal value of knowledge to an organizational value of knowledge), then look for alignment by identifying thematically similar values.

For instance if you value honesty and the organization values integrity, that will work! You are looking for at least 2 thematically similar values.

If you don’t have any values in common with the organization for which you work, you might find yourself feeling unhappy and compromised.

More than likely that organization will not be conducive to your being happy at work, but also potentially detrimental to your personal growth and inner peace.

working happily

What I have found is that we can survive in an environment where we have at least one shared value with the organization. It hurts, but we can do it. However, we thrive in an environment where there are at least two shared values (exact match or thematically aligned).

Obviously, the more values you share with your place of work, the more satisfaction increases. You don’t want to work at a place that doesn’t value the same things you do.

Another area of potential challenge is if your values don’t align with your direct supervisor’s or team’s values.

Even if your values align with your company, they can possibly clash with the person you report to or with your team’s. Maybe you value openness and communication, but your supervisor doesn’t fill you in on company updates, or your team keeps secrets from you. This can create a lot of conflict and frustration.

talking about work

In this case, you might be working at the right place, but not working for or with the right people. While you most likely can’t change who your boss or team is, you can try to change how you interact with them.

One way to navigate this is by communicating your boundaries and what you need directly to your team or supervisor. It’s possible they don’t understand the way that you work best, and what you need to be successful. It could be as simple as letting them know this to improve the relationship.

While there is always the possibility that they don’t listen, this is a good way to try to make the most out of a situation that may not be ideal. If this is the case and you feel like sticking it out, then go for it. If not, then maybe it’s time to find a place that aligns better with who you are.

Working at a place that shares the same values as you or for a boss who does can be extremely fulfilling. It makes it easy for you to feel happy at work. That alignment is also key to feeling like you are doing the work you are meant to do. So it’s time to get on it!

Your cape awaits!

Tomi Llama

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