The Importance of Value
Employment is about an exchange of value. You bring a skill set to an employer and they pay you for it. Employers want value, but your boss may define what is valuable differently than you. Because perceptions vary, understanding and articulating your value are imperative. You are teaching people how to think about you and your work every day.
You interact with other people at work each day and probably need something from others before you can complete your work. Whether it’s cooperation, collaboration, or support, it can be a challenge to get what you need.
Learn to bring others value first. Sometimes it’s hard to remember what you might be able to contribute. This is especially true if you don’t think you are in a position to really offer anything like if you are unemployed or lower than someone in the org chart. Here are some ideas to consider:
- Connect people.
- Be a resource and provide skills or information.
- Provide help with technology.
- Offer your help when a co-worker is overwhelmed or taking a vacation.
Use your skills to serve the people around you.
Lead with service, then ask for what you need. Service can take many different actions. For example, if you cannot add value by talking – listen. Listening is often more valuable. If listening doesn’t come naturally, practice taking pauses before you interject. Ask yourself: “Am I bringing value? Or am I just trying to fill the silence?” Remember, actions do speak louder than words.
Consistently articulating your value and acknowledging the value of others will help you get things done. Showing value will help you build connections and catapult your career to the next level.