Posted on: July 1, 2024 Posted by: Comments: 0

Here’s a question to discuss today: what are your best tips to find a job that aligns with your values? Do you think it matters? What about if there’s a difference between the way leadership thinks and the way your specific office and colleagues do?

We’ve talked about how to ask about job-life balance during your interview, but not this.

A Story

A long time ago (before law school!), I interviewed for a position at a journalism startup. I had the interview and it went well, but after the interview, while doing research I realized that the startup was very very (very) closely associated with a political organization.

The fact that they hadn’t mentioned this, at all, during the interview or explanation of what the startup would be seemed… really bizarre to me. What if I didn’t share the values of this political organization? Were they trying to actively hide it? Would the entire “journalism” team just be a glorified PR team?

It made me suspicious of the whole startup, to be honest, so I withdrew my name. (I’m glad I didn’t go further because they also lost several clipbooks from other young journalists I knew… this was a huge deal at the time because a lot of these books contained newspaper and magazine clippings and other bylines that you literally couldn’t get anywhere else.)

How to Find a Job That Aligns With Your Values

With a startup it may be harder to see what the job and company will become… but with established jobs, there are a few ways that you can try to figure out whether the job aligns with your values.

Research the company’s charitable history to see if the company has made donations to private foundations or political organizations, or bought tables at charitable galas. Nonprofits don’t have to disclose donors, but a lot of times they will thank their donors, or a company social media feed may reveal an “official” company outing big gala or the like.

Look at any pro bono work or other “extra” work that the company is making a point of highlighting.

Ask your network what the company’s values are.

Recognize that there may be a difference between what the VIPs in the company support — and ask the questions to determine how big of a deal this is with you. I’ve even worked in some offices where the VIPs are on polar opposite ends of the spectrum — and the firm looked at it as a positive because it showed there was no bias one way or the other from a company-wide perspective.

Ask the boring HR questions. Depending on what your values are, you might be able to determine some things from HR-related questions. Does the company insurance cover things fertility treatments? How much paternity and maternity leave does the firm give? What other employee benefits and perks does the company give?

Over to you, readers — have you tried to find a job that aligns with your values, or have you just tried to avoid a job that clashes with your values? How can you tell at the job application stage, at the interview stage, and beyond?

Stock photo via Stencil.

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