Have you ever defined your highest “value proposition” – both to your current company and in general? It is not always a simple thing to do.
Another way to think about value propositions is to borrow a concept from the investing world. What is your personal ROI? What return on an employer’s investment do you bring? If your total compensation is $50,000, $100,000 or $500,000 a year (plus benefits), for example, is the employer’s investment worth it, and why?
Think beyond your current ROI. Focus not only on the experience you bring and what you have done in the past, but also the greater value you can offer.
We often let our job titles and duties lead our thoughts about our professional net worth, but our true value add to a company is not best expressed by what department we are in or what tasks we have completed. We need to think beyond that and take a look at what problems we solve, what we have accomplished and how we do the job differently (and better) than anyone else who could have held the same role.
Key value-proposition questions include:
1) How does my role fit into the organization’s big picture?
2) If I left my role tomorrow, what gaps would need to be filled?
3) What have I accomplished in the last 6, 12 and 24 months?
4) Where do I consistently receive positive feedback? Is the feedback meaningful to help me define my unique strengths and talents?
5) What basic needs of my employer do I meet? Providing vision, generating profit, supporting growth, managing risk or something else altogether? Be specific as to needs and how you meet them.
6) Where do I want to move next professionally and how can it benefit me and my current/future employer?
Beyond our current companies, we need to ask how our roles over time fit into our long-term vision for our careers, including our values, talents, strengths, interests, competencies and risk tolerances. Many of us lead careers that we have not fully examined, and therefore miss finding meaning in our careers, which leads to dissatisfaction and ultimately does not let us reach our potential. Defining your value proposition in this larger context helps you understand yourself and your role(s) better, so that not only do you find a better fit, but you are better able to communicate your worth.
This larger definition of value proposition takes more time than most of us are willing to invest, which is why those who do invest that time and energy have a distinct advantage. As you think about your career, what has made you stand out in each of your various roles? Can you tie these together or do you notice a trend?
Takeaway question: are you passionate about the things for which you are known, and if not, how can you become known for the things you are passionate about?
Even if you are not passionate about all aspects of your job, you can tailor it to bring the role closer to what you do find challenging, interesting and meaningful.
Anne Marie Segal is a career coach and résumé writer for attorneys, executives and entrepreneurs. She is currently completing her first book, on job interviews, which will be available in early 2017. To join her monthly mailing list and receive a preview of the chapter on value propositions, please click here and write “Book Preview” in the comments section.
This post was originally published on LinkedIn.
© 2016 Anne Marie Segal. All rights reserved.
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