Your Values: The COPES

So far you have considered how the things you like to do (your interests) relate to your choice of a career, and how what you are good at (your abilities) contribute to success in your areas of career interest. Values complete the picture of what you personally require from work to find it satisfying and rewarding.

Interpreting Your COPES Profile

In looking at your COPES profile, you will probably find that some of your scores fall toward one end of the profile and others fall toward the other. Scores to the right of the midline show a preference for values listed on the right of your profile. Scores to the left of the midline show a preference for values listed on the left of your profile. The closer your scores are to either end, the more important the values at the end of the scale probably are to you. Where your scores fall at or close to the midline, those values are probably of moderate or average importance to you.

You are now ready to consider your values profile in terms of the full descriptions of the COPES Work Values appearing below. Read each description carefully to determine which end of the scale applies to you the most.

Work Values Measured by the COPES

(A) INVESTIGATIVE VERSUS (I) ACCEPTING - Intellectual curiosity and the challenge of solving a complex task are major values of persons scoring toward the Investigative end of this scale. The need for information, the need to know, the need to question “why,” is very important to such people. This value is first seen in very young children, and the importance of this value grows in different degrees into adulthood. Persons scoring toward this end of the scale value activities in which they work to satisfy their curiosity, find new solutions to problems, are mentally challenged and understand and interpret complex ideas. Persons scoring toward the Accepting end of this scale value and use good existing solutions rather than finding new methods. They do not need to solve complex problems and like to avoid complications in their work environment. Persons scoring toward this end of the scale use sound, established procedures to succeed in their work situations and prefer not to develop new tactics to solve problems.

(B) PRACTICAL VERSUS (J) CAREFREE - Showing proper appreciation for one's personal things and appreciation of practical and efficient ways of doing things are major values of persons scoring toward the Practical end of this scale. Such persons value activities in which they take good care of their property, continually improve their abilities and work with things to make them more practical and efficient. They prefer to work in a hands-on situation using established technical knowledge. Persons scoring toward the Carefree end of this scale value activities where others take care of equipment and keep things in good working order. They can take a less diligent more lighthearted, imaginative approach to new ideas. They are more likely to take economic risks and try out new solutions in their work situation.

(C) INDEPENDENCE VERSUS (K) CONFORMITY - Independence from rules, regulations and social conventions, and the freedom to work on their own are major values of persons scoring toward the Independence end of this scale. Such persons value activities in which they do not have to follow orders but work to their own standards, they work on their own without direction, and are not restricted by social obligations. Persons scoring toward the Conformity end of this scale value working under careful supervision where clear directions and regulations can be followed. They carefully follow the clearly accepted standard set of principles in the workplace and prefer to depend on given plans and rules. They are often positive in their attitude toward following orders and working with other people.

(D) LEADERSHIP VERSUS (L) SUPPORTIVE - Making decisions, directing others, and speaking for the group are major values of persons scoring toward the Leadership end of this scale. Such persons have a need to be seen as the one who is in charge and usually take positions of leadership. Persons scoring toward this end of the scale value activities in which they make the decisions for the group and are chosen as a leader or decision maker. Persons scoring toward the Supportive end of this scale value activities in which they can be a good follower and do not need to direct others or tell others what to do. They prefer to carry out a plan of action and let others be the speaker for a group. They do not feel the need to exert authority over others but instead support the decisions of others.

(E) ORDERLINESS VERSUS (M) FLEXIBILITY - Orderliness and keeping things neat and in their proper place are major values of persons scoring toward the Orderliness end of this scale. Such persons value activities in which they keep their things neat and tidy and do what they are expected to do. Persons scoring toward the Flexibility end of this scale value activities in which they can take things as they come and do not need to keep things orderly and neat. They feel free to make a last minute decision or act when the need arises. There is no need to carefully follow an orderly plan. Instead their need is to be more flexible and less rigid toward fixed plans.

(F) RECOGNITION VERSUS (N) PRIVACY - To become well known and famous and to know important people are major values of persons scoring toward the Recognition end of this scale. Such persons seek admiration of others as well as the rewards of honorary degrees and of having their name in print. Persons scoring toward this end of the scale value activities in which they become well-known and in which they are looked up to by other people. Persons scoring toward the Privacy end of this scale value keeping their activities private and are not concerned with receiving honors or being considered a famous person. They prefer to work quietly either alone or with others and prefer to remain unnoticed and out of the spotlight. They may concentrate on what they do rather than the goal of becoming well-known.

(G) AESTHETIC VERSUS (O) REALISTIC - Artistic appreciation and the enjoyment of music and the arts are major values of persons scoring toward the Aesthetic end of this scale. Such persons value activities in which they appreciate beauty and artistic skill in the workplace. They show artistic and emotional sensitivity. They like to arrange their workspace to look good. If they are working in an artistic field the looks of an item are more important than the practical more realistic use of an item. Persons scoring toward the Realistic end of this scale value activities in which functionality is more important than artistic form in their work. While they may have an appreciation of art they do not rely on their artistic senses or intuition in the workplace. They are more concerned with the practical usefulness of their work rather than its artistic merit.

(H) SOCIAL VERSUS (P) RESERVED - Helping others and appreciating the work of charitable service groups are major values of persons scoring toward the Social end of this scale. Working with people in a friendly situation is important to such persons. Persons scoring toward this end of the scale value activities in which they work for the good of others, meet and get to know people, and are understanding of those who have difficulties. They like to work as a team and have a lot of interaction with others. Persons scoring toward the Reserved end of this scale value activities in which they spend time on their own projects and tend to their own affairs. They prefer to work more independently without assistance and value privacy and limited interaction with others. They like to keep their social life apart from their work.

Your COPES scores are related to the COPSystem Career Clusters by selecting your three most extreme value scores. These three most important values are marked by a darker shaded line on your COPES profile and are related to the COPS in the Summary section of your profile. The table below shows you how the COPSystem Career Clusters relate to the COPES values.

SCIENCE, Professional - Planning and
conducting research in math, medical, life
and physical sciences.
Investigative Independence Reserved
SCIENCE, Skilled - Observing and
classifying facts in assisting with
laboratory research.
Orderliness Conformity Realistic
TECHNOLOGY, Professional - Engineering and structural design in the manufacture, construction or transportation of products. Investigative Practical Reserved
TECHNOLOGY, Skilled - Working with one's hands in the skilled trades of construction, installation, repair and manufacturing. Practical Orderliness Realistic
CONSUMER ECONOMICS - Preparation and packaging of foods, making and care of clothing and textile products. Practical Accepting Supportive
OUTDOOR - Activities preformed primarily out of doors such as growing and tending plants and animals. Independence Practical Privacy
BUSINESS, Professional - Positions of high responsibility in organization and administration of business. Leadership Recognition Investigative
BUSINESS, Skilled - Sales promotion, marketing and finance in regard to promotion of business. Leadership Accepting Carefree
CLERICAL - Recording, posting and filing business records with attention to detail, accuracy and speed. Orderliness Supportive Conformity
COMMUNICATION - Language skill in the written and oral communication of knowledge and ideas. Recognition Investigative Independence
ARTS, Professional - Individualized expression of creative or musical talent. Recognition Aesthetic Flexibility
ARTS, Skilled - Application of artistic skill in photography, graphic arts and design. Aesthetic Independence Supportive
SERVICE, Professional - Positions of high responsibility in caring for the personal needs and welfare of others. Social Leadership Independence
SERVICE, Skilled - Providing services to persons and catering to the tastes, desires and welfare of others. Social Practical Supportive