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Knowing the Difference: Values Versus Interests

A review of your values and interests will tell you what jobs will give you a sense of pride and ignite your passion. Getting to know your true self will help you define your values and interests which can lead to a clearer life path.

Defining Values

Values are intangible standards or principles which give meaning to our lives and guide our behavior and choices.

For Some, Defining Values Is Easy

Some people see their values clearly and express them easily. There is little confusion or question about where these people stand. Being committed to your values lays the foundation you need to build your life around.

And for the Rest of us…

For others, expressing a clear set of values is more difficult, either because their values are in flux or because they are no longer sure about them. This is especially true for people who are undergoing a period of transition. Transitional periods allow us to re-evaluate what values are important to us. Re-defining our values in transition periods of our lives is a necessary step in creating the life we want for ourselves.

What Are Interests and How Are They Different from Values?

Interests are something that excites your curiosity or attention. Interests are different from values in that values are your personal principles. Interests get you excited about something and inspire you to take action. You will use your values to guide you as you pursue your interests. Defining what interests you have is also important. What are you passionate about? What excites you?

If you’d like to explore your interests, try taking the free online Interest Profiler on ONET.


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