Are you feeling the pressure to be more valuable at work?
Maybe you just want to keep your job safe when others are getting cut or temporarily furloughed.
Or more likely, you know that your company, client or customer really needs the superpowers you bring right now.
But it’s easy to forget about the value we bring.
Or worse, we stop talking about it, taking for granted that everyone knows.
(Psst: They don’t.)
While being valuable doesn’t inoculate you from worldwide changes, or even changes right inside your own workplace, I can tell you this with 100% certainty:
Not being valuable is a whole lot worse.
If you really want to be more valuable at work, here are three actions you can take right now, no matter who you are, what you do, and what’s happening in the state of the economy.
Action 1: Get Clear on What Your Job Really Is
What is a job, anyway?
Is it just a set of work defined by an employer?
Let’s not kid ourselves.
If you wrote down the work you do all day, would it look anything like your published job description, assuming you have one?
My bet is that there may be one or two generic lines in your job description that kinda sorta maybe match what you do all day. If at all.
Changing times are opportunities to redefine your job.
So right now, take a hard look at what you really do, and who you really are at work. Write down the answers to these questions:
- What problems do you solve?
- How does your work connect to making or saving money, time, or energy?
- Where do you make things simpler?
- What happens for the better when you do what you do?
- Where do you make a difference? For whom?
Stop thinking about yourself with a label or language of the company you work for.
Start thinking –and talking–about yourself based on the results you create and the need you fill.
Struggling? Create your who & do what statement.
If you’re not finding it easy to redefine your job, try this approach.
This isn’t an elevator speech. It’s a format to help you think differently about what exactly you do, for who, and what the bigger thing is that you help make happen.
Just fill in the blanks:
I ________________[ACTION I take in my superpower space]
________________ [with/for PEOPLE/PROCESS/THINGS] so that
______________________[BIGGER RESULT YOU HELP MAKE HAPPEN].
Here’s a before & after example from one of my workshops:
See how that works?
‘Cause let’s face it–a robot might be able to serve as a “communication manager,” trafficking various pieces of information here and there.
But could a bot lead a strategy that made a difference for all those team members?
Bring it on–I’ll bet on the human every time.
The best jobs are not dependent on any one company or business. They depend on your unique insights, gifts and talents– and how you’re bringing your superpowers to work.
Get clear on what your job is right now.
Action 2: Help More People
Great opportunities will never fall from your living room ceiling.
(Unless maybe you’re a roofer.)
And they aren’t popping out from behind your keyboard, either, no matter how much googling and searching you do.
Your next opportunity to be more valuable at work will always have one thing in common: people.
So the work here is simple.
Talk to more people.
Reach out to your customers, clients, colleagues.
Chat with your vendors, friends, and your vendors’ friends.
Understand their problems; define their pain.
Fact is, you already know how to do this.
It’s built-in standard equipment for you as a human.
You were created to have relationships, interact with people, and not go it alone.
The word “networking” sucks for something that’s so vital to our lives and careers. So stop thinking about it as networking and start thinking about it as expanding your universe–getting to know more people out there in our world that you can help, inspire, or just be human with, too.
For humanized steps & scripts, grab our planning guide, How to Network While You Work, for free here.
You can also check out my email scripts for better networking here.
Action 3: Invest in yourself
You can’t control whether there’ll be a pandemic that shuts your company’s doors.
And truthfully, you’ve never been able to control things that might happen in the world that’ll change your life at work.
For a long time now, change has been happening.
Tech advancements. New competitors. Changes in how your profession does business.
In fact, you’ve probably learned to expect change.
You can’t control it.
But the one thing you can always control is YOU.
Everything you say, think, and do.
So do something good for you.
- Take a class or teach yourself something new from YouTube.
- Volunteer for a local nonprofit, school or your professional association.
- Talk to a coach to help you strengthen a skill, map out a tough conversation, or to get honest about what you really want to do next.
Over time, our careers become a part of what we’re known for in our life. They’re important and valuable not only to our financial health, but to our sense of meaning and self-esteem.
The best way to be more valuable at work tomorrow is to invest in yourself today.
Hey—want more help?
No matter what’s happening in your life at work, a 30-minute chat with me can help you get unstuck and move forward, fast.
Just hit the button below, and pick a date and time that’s available. Answer a few short questions, and then I’ll call you at the time you picked. There’s nothing to prepare–just show up right where you are. If, after we talk, it sounds like one of my coaching programs or courses will help you going forward, I’ll share details after our call. There’s no pressure -my goal is to be helpful immediately.
Spots fill up fast, though, so schedule yours now and start getting the support you deserve.