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The Boomer Bulletin - 2012
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7 Tips to Increasing Your Value At Work

Posted By Arianna Campbell, Thursday, November 15, 2012

As firms are slowly recovering from the recession that we experienced in 2008, some employees may be tempted to become comfortable and complacent in their positions. The layoffs have subsided, the sense of urgency has dissipated, and old habits have returned. However, as the economic uncertainty continues, there is even more of a need for talented employees who can demonstrate their value to the firm. Firm leadership is looking for people who are committed to the firm and prepared for whatever the future may bring. Here are several changes that you can make right now to showcase and increase your value to your firm. 

  1. Get back to the basics: Showing your value as an employee takes more than just completing your tasks. It starts with reinstating a few simple practices that are centered on making professionalism a priority. Show up on time and keep a positive attitude. Take pride in your work. Be a team player. Treat your coworkers with respect. Go above and beyond in every project and task. Be dependable, consistent and trustworthy. Making small changes to improve your character, behavior and attitude can have a large impact on your value to the firm. 
  2. Identify your professional Dangers, Opportunities and Strengths (DOS): Taking the initiative to evaluate dangers, opportunities and strengths (DOS) is an excellent way to define areas where you can be proactive in your professional growth. This will make you aware of your dangers, ready for your opportunities and confident in your strengths. You can identify your DOS by completing the DOS Evaluator. This tool will assist you in making a plan to address challenges and opportunities as they arise while maximizing your strong points.  This in turn will make you more effective in your role at the firm.  
  3. Define your goals: Professional stability and progress rarely happens by accident. It is usually the result of intentional planning which creates a path to achieve your goals. Having 90-day, one-year and five-year professional development plans will help to keep your focus on your priorities. A 90-day Game Plan is an effective way to track short term goals and accomplishments. The one-year and five-year plans are necessary to keep the bigger picture in sight while also creating boundaries for future plans. It is important to share these goals with your supervisor so you can ensure that you are in alignment with the firm goals. Once goals are defined, they can still be refined as needed. 
  4. Be accountable: Once you have defined your goals it is important to hold yourself accountable and follow through. Be committed to completing your tasks and meeting your deadlines. Encourage feedback from your peers and supervisors. Ask what you can do to improve and solicit constructive criticism. Review your progress quarterly to document your accomplishments and areas for improvement. The Accountability Review is a tool that can be used with the 90-day game plan to guide the discussion about your progress. The combination of setting goals and holding yourself accountable will help you avoid becoming stagnant in your position.
  5. Training: A willingness to learn new things is a prerequisite for growth. It is difficult to advance or increase your value without increasing your knowledge. Training and learning goals should also be included in your short and long term professional development plans. Work with your supervisor to identify the appropriate learning opportunities that will benefit you and the firm. There are multiple training options to explore including online courses, books, seminars or finding a mentor or other resources in your firm. 
  6. Expand Your Network: It is not just about what you know; it is also about who you know. Social networks, mobile devices and other technology make it much easier to connect with contacts and stay in touch. Create a profile on professional social network sites such as LinkedIn and keep your profile up to date. Also reach out in person by attending professional events or joining associations or groups. Building your professional network is a way to increase the visibility for you and your firm. This can also be a potential way to discover new business opportunities for the firm. 
  7. Be open to change:  As the Greek philosopher Heraclitus noted hundreds of years ago, nothing is constant except change. Technology is causing change to happen at an even faster pace and the ability to adapt to new challenges and situations in a key factor for success in any position. Stay open to new ideas; be willing to try new systems and processes. Do not get stuck in the past as the firm moves forward into the future.  
Now is the time to make steps to increase your value and showcase your talent. Make a commitment to evaluate the areas where you can make changes, then set your goals and follow through. The end result will put you in a position for professional growth and future success.  

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