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  • Nancy Mendelson

Do Shared Values Matter?

Dear Nancy,

How important is it to work in a place where colleagues share your values?

Short & Sweet, Philadelphia, PA

Dear Short & Sweet,

In keeping with the 'no bullshit' spirit of your question and sign-off, I will get right to it!

According to the Harvard Business Review, “Candidates are seeking workplaces where they can intertwine their beliefs with those of the company, and work together on a common vision of purpose and success.”

An article on goes on to say, “Sharing the same kind of beliefs and values as the people around them not only helps people to bond when times are good; it also allows them to create a “social safety net” they can depend on in times of uncertainty, stress or change.”

As you can imagine there are myriad Google-able posts and pieces on this very subject, but since you asked for my take on the topic, then have it you shall! Short answer? If it’s important to you, then it is important!

Throughout most of my career, I focused on what I wanted to do, where I wanted to go, and what I wanted to be. Like most people over 60, corporate culture wasn’t a priority back then. What I cared about was being of value, being valued, and being treated fairly and respectfully. Do unto others actually meant something to me.

Then somewhere along my career path, I found myself becoming increasingly disappointed by the direction the business world seemed to be going. As the focus shifted from the guest to the shareholder, I knew I couldn’t work in an environment where spreadsheet management ruled, and people were expendable. All balance between ROI and ROR (return on relationship) seemed to go out the door…and so did I. It was then I realized that I had changed and for me, it was no longer about what I wanted to do…rather how I wanted to feel about what I was doing and where I was doing it. And this has made all the difference in the world for me in my life.

What is of value to you will change as you gain more work and life experience and that’s a great thing.

In my lifetime I have seen a good many cultural pivots, and I have managed to navigate them all because I am constantly learning and refining what’s important to me.

So, in answer to your question “How important it is to work in a place where colleagues share your values?” Like I said earlier…if it’s important to YOU, then it is important!

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