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Succeed in the workplace
Succeed in the workplace

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5.2 Personal beliefs and values

The next activity is designed to help you to think carefully about what values and beliefs you hold and how these might impact on the work options you are drawn to. You might find it useful to look back to Activity 3 where you identified what you valued about work.

Activity 6 My beliefs and values

Timing: Allow approximately 15 minutes

First, complete your own beliefs and values audit. Copy Table 3 into your notebook or you can complete this in your Resource pack [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .

Table 3 Personal beliefs and values table
In the worldIn my work (paid, unpaid or voluntary)In my relationshipsIn myself
What matters to me?
What is most important to me?

(The Open University, 2013)

Once you have done this, you might find it helpful to see your ideas visually. If so, you could produce a spray diagram, perhaps following Jon’s example, in your notebook. This kind of visualisation doesn’t work for everybody, though. So it is fine just to complete the table.

Whether or not you decide to convert your table to a spray diagram, take a little time to read back over what you have written and then ask yourself the following questions, writing down the answers to each in your notebook:

  1. Are there areas of overlap in what matters to me in different areas of my life?
  2. Are there any obvious tensions or conflicts?
  3. Have any of my beliefs or values become more or less important to me than they once were?


Things may not be entirely clear to you at this stage. Remember, there are no right or wrong answers and you can always return to the activities and update your thinking, as you progress through the course.

Most of us have to decide which values we are giving priority to at any given stage. The clearer we are on why we are doing things, the easier it is to live with the choices – and trade-offs – we are making.

What you value in life will clearly be connected strongly to what most interests you. This is what the next section helps you to consider.