A Marriage of Convenience? Why Our Relationship With Work is Broken (Part 5)

The results are in.

The data is clear.

And the message is unconvincing…

Results of last week’s survey suggest that you have a pretty healthy relationship with work:

  • A vast majority (86%) of you understand the mission of your organization beyond financial success
  • Two-thirds of you (66%) feel your work is an extension of who you are and not some other thing you have to do, just to make ends meet
  • About a third (34%) of respondents still believe a single job should span most, if not all of a career and also about a third (38%) of respondents have done just that, having worked in the same organization for 16+ years…

Let’s sum up… our readers understand what their organizations are trying to achieve, feel their work enriches who they are and most either aspire to, or have, attained long tenures with the same organization.

BUT (you knew there was a ‘but’ coming) the data also suggests our relationship with work might not be as harmonious as we’d like to think it is.


  •  Individuals and organizations did not agree with a single core value
  • Ordering of values varied drastically, except ‘integrity’ which ranked high on both lists.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve interviewed top executives or heads of HR and listened to them tell me that people were their #1 asset and that they hire only the ‘best people’, people that shared their values! Similarly, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve conducted ‘comparative values’ surveys, only to find that what organizations and employees value to be entirely different.

Let’s put it another way. If you were selecting a life partner, wouldn’t you require some alignment of your core values? Certainly.

Yet, most of us are willing to accept a long-term relationship with little alignment of our core values – our relationship with work.

So…do values matter or have careers become a marriage of convenience?

As always, I welcome your comments and questions, directly at jeff@jeffkaplan.com. Until next week, this is Jeff Kaplan, reminding you to Stay Connected!