Don't Compromise You Can Find a Job That Fits Your Values

A coming shortage of skilled workers means the job market is about to turn in favor of employees. Knowing this, many qualified professionals are now evaluating employment opportunities based on more than just salary, benefits and security.

They are also seeking companies that respect, nurture and share their personal values.

"It's not unusual to feel dissatisfied with a job from time to time," says Deb Marquette, manager of field talent attraction for Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.

"But if you find your job regularly leaves you feeling unfulfilled, it might be time to change jobs. The workforce shortage is opening up numerous opportunities for people to find jobs where they can enjoy greater professional and personal satisfaction."

An increased emphasis on an employers' values compatibility is occurring across the board among job-seekers. Three groups in particular, however, are in a position to command the market: Generation X and Generation Y workers poised to replace retiring Baby Boomers, and boomers retiring from their current career in favor of one they find more meaningful.

"Jobseekers today can find increased opportunities to land in a career they will consider satisfying, profitable and rewarding for the long term," Marquette notes.

So how can you determine if a potential employer's values match your own?

Marquette offers the following advice:

Evaluate how active a company is in its community.

Does your potential employer participate in or support charities and issues that are important to you?

"Do your homework before the interview by researching the community news sections of your local newspapers," Marquette advises. "Does the company's name consistently appear in articles about issues and charities of interest to you?"

Determine if your company's benefits package is dependent friendly.

Does the company offer generous family leave and personal time off policies?

Does it offer family coverage under its health, dental and vision plans? Does it offer other dependent care or health care flexible spending programs?

If not, the employer may not be positioned to help you care for loved ones.

Evaluate the employer's concern for the financial health of its employees.

Does it provide a retirement savings plan with a competitive match on your contributions?

Does it provide access to free financial advice? Some companies may even offer group rates or discounts on critical insurance to protect you and your assets, such as disability income insurance or long term care insurance plans for you or your family members.

Listen to what others in your community and social circles have to say about the employer.

"You can often find people in your church, PTA, health club or other social groups who have an opinion about your potential employer," Marquette says. "If you keep hearing a common theme, such as this employer treats its customers with integrity and employees with respect, you can probably feel confident that this is a company you want to work for."

Does the employer support, or even encourage, your involvement in giving back to the community in ways that align with your personal values?

Some companies offer extra time off if you volunteer for a company-sponsored activity, such as Thrivent Builds with Habitat for Humanity, a home-building alliance between Thrivent Financial for Lutherans and Habitat for Humanity, or even charitable gift-matching opportunities.

Finally, says Marquette, don't feel you have to compromise.

"No qualified professional should have to choose between professional or personal satisfaction," she says. "Smart employers will provide you with the opportunity for both."