One of the secrets to career success is to show your value. This vital action can help in situations of uncertainty when things like layoffs happen. Layoffs are scary and can bring about feelings of scarcity, anxiety, and failure. And the biggest kicker – oftentimes, an employer is forced to choose between you and another employee with similar skills. The employer has to decide which one of you will get the nudge out the door and which one gets to keep a seat at the table. Given this choice, leaders tend to keep the employee who shows up every day bringing the company the most value.

What is Value?

From an employer’s perspective, value can be that extra step, that unique qualifier, that winning attitude, or that area of expertise that one shares. To be the employee who stands out, you need to walk through those office doors armed with value.

Determine Your Value

At the core, value is that special quality that helps bring out the best in a company.

To determine your value, ask yourself:

  • Am I a must-have resource?
  • If I left the company today, what losses would they suffer?
  • How do I make this company a better place overall?
  • What can I do that no one else can do with the same level of skill or enthusiasm?
  • How do I make a difference?

How to Prove Your Value

Show measurable contributions: How does your activity affect the bottom line of the company? Data doesn’t lie. Whenever possible, quantify your activity.

Toot your horn. Of course, just don’t toot it too loudly! For work to get noticed, sometimes, it’s necessary to tell people about how it has contributed to the overall goals and successes of the company. If someone sends in positive feedback, forward that to those who assess your performance.  If a project gets rave reviews, let managers know how much effort you put into it.

Spread the enthusiasm. The dynamics of a workforce are paramount to its success. Be a part of this success! Enthusiasm is contagious. So, show up ready and engaged. Leave negativity out of the equation. At all times, be on good terms with those around you because attitude is one of the easiest ways to shine.

Take criticism with an open mind. Walk into work with a willingness to learn and grow. One of the first steps to this type of professional development is to open up to criticism and use it as a tool to your advancement. Be willing to change and take on new perspectives. Being flexible is highly regarded in the workforce.

Be an active listener. Listening is a skill that can help you build a strong rapport with others, and it is one that will allow you to influence in a respectful and collaborative manner. Being a good listener requires more than just receiving messages. It requires you to take an active role in a conversation by providing the speaker with verbal and nonverbal cues that you do pay careful attention to the conversation at hand.

Always present the best version of yourself on a consistent basis. Provide the level of courtesy and respect that you would want others to show you. A part of increasing worth includes building expertise. UMBC offers a number of professional applied master’s programs to help boost one’s overall value.

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