Posted By Arianna Campbell,
Thursday, November 15, 2012
| Comments (0)
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
This post has not been tagged.