What are you worth to the company you work for? What is your professional value? If you were to leave your position today, what impact would that have on the department? What about on the company or the customer experience?
Often we are so focused on just doing our work that we fail to take stock of how, what we do, and how we do it, positively impacts the company. And when we fail to recognize our value, we often discount our influence and impact.
So here is a project for you this week: take some time to really assess where you are in the company, what you do for the company, and what impact it has.
Consider these questions:
- What are the characteristics of my environment today?
- What work am I responsible for each day/month/quarter?
- Describe my direct manager? (supportive, undermining, hands-off)
- What is my attitude at work?
- Does it change throughout the day?
- Who is currently aware of my work, outcomes, ideas and impact?
- What people would give me a glowing recommendation based on our work together?
- How much time am I taking each month to cultivate my network?
Once you have a clear understanding of your current professional value, determine where you might like to go in the future. Do you have a network that will help with that transition? Are you currently working on projects that will get you the notice you need from the people in a position of helping you achieve your advancement goals?
In my book, Accelerate Your Impact, I tell of one professional’s goal and the journey she took:
When Cindy, a developer and team lead, aspired to join the board of directors for a local nonprofit to gain additional leadership skills and expand her network, she turned to her existing network. She could do this because six months before deciding on this direction, she spent 10 to 15 minutes each day on her LinkedIn profile ensuring it was up-to-date. In addition to these activities, she leveraged this and other online profiles to establish and maintain relationships that she might not interact with on a regular basis.
When she was ready to take on additional responsibility, it was her network that jumped in to make the initial connections. These warm introductions from people who already knew Cindy led to several meetings with the nonprofit’s leaders and eventually some of its existing board members.
Cindy understood her professional value and the benefit her skills could provide to the desired position on the board. She further understands the value of developing a network that would help connect her with the people necessary to achieve her goal.
Applying This to Your Life
Before we can move in the direction of our dream job, we must first fully understand where we are at the moment and what our professional value is. Additionally, we need to manage the gap between where we are today and where we need to be. What skills do we need to learn? Who do we need to know? How can we achieve our goal?
Experience has taught me that women are not as likely to take the credit they deserve for what they have accomplished or individually contributed to a team or project. In fact, many play off their career milestones as “the team,” “the opportunity” and even “the company culture,” This can all have merit and impact to the outcome, but may not get you the recognition needed.
Make sure you honestly own your professional value; the impact and influence you have within your organization.
Many professional women aspire to advance their career, but most encounter obstacles because they don’t have “The Professional Playbook.”. Download three chapters now of the professional playbook for women that includes initiatives to accelerate your professional growth.
- Quiet Your Self-Deprecating Voice
- The Power of Words: Being Mindful
- Searching for Career Clarity and Direction
- How to Manage Career Fears
- You Are the Best Investment
JJ DiGeronimo — the president of Tech Savvy Women — is a speaker, author, and thought leader for women in tech and girls and STEM. Through her work, JJ empowers professional women and consults with senior executives on strategies to retain and attract women in technology to increase thought and leadership diversity within organizations.
Don’t miss our online resources library for eCourses, online discussions, downloads, retreats and tools for professional women. Learn more here.