Internal work values, or what we career folks call intrinsic values, are things keep us feeling excited about the work we do, ready to get up and have a go at the day. Examples include work tasks, who you interact with, and the built-in structure of your day. For example, if you’re happy in your primary role of connecting with clients in Singapore, you probably have a lot of intrinsic value around working with international people, keeping unusual hours, and possibly using the Malay language skills you worked so hard to acquire. If you’re a dental hygienist, your intrinsic values are more likely to be centered on helping people, educating them on oral health, and having a pretty clear set of tasks each day. Other examples are things like autonomy, variety of tasks, and recognition for the work you do.
If these intrinsic values aren’t being met in your job, you’re likely to feel like what you do has no meaning, no larger impact on the world. You may even feel fairly comfortable (financially as well as task-wise), but feel that your work is somehow empty. If you’re seeking meaning, you probably need to focus on your intrinsic work values.