By Kevin Brennfleck and Kay Marie Brennfleck
National Certified Career Counselors and Life Calling CoachesSM
When your name is mentioned at work, what comes to people's minds? In this challenging job market and time of corporate downsizing, the employees who are seen as an asset to the company are the most likely to keep their jobs. One of the best ways to increase your value to your employer is to think of yourself as being self-employed. People who are self-employed don't automatically receive a paycheck; they have to do what it takes to earn an income. When you think of yourself as being self-employed, and take the initiative to be valuable to others, you are much more likely to be seen as an indispensible top performer in your organization.
How to Develop an Exceptional "Personal Brand" at Work
To be viewed as an exceptional employee, you not only need to do your job well, but you also need to take initiative to stand out from the other employees. Here are six strategies for increasing your value to your employer. These can bring you many positive benefits including increased job security and a bigger paycheck. Get started on becoming more valuable; choose one of these strategies to do today!
1. Be a problem-solver, not a problem-maker. Find out which problems your employer would most like to see solved. Discuss how you could address and help resolve these problems in your position.
2. Stand out by being a consistent contributor. On a regular basis ask yourself, "How can I make myself more useful here?" Become an "other-focused" person who is able to see opportunities where you can use your skills to solve problems, develop new clients, save the company money, etc.
3. Increase your value to the organization by doing what others won't.Volunteer for the necessary jobs or tasks that others do not want. While this does not sound like a lot of fun, you will find that employers will value you more than others who only do the least possible to fulfill their job responsibilities.
4. Solicit feedback from your boss. Asking him or her for feedback on your performance can increase respect for you as an employee. One helpful question is to ask how he or she evaluates "success" for your position. You may find that his or her responses are not represented in your job description. The rules for success in most companies are unwritten. You can learn them faster by asking this question and personally observing what successful people at your company are doing.
On at least a quarterly basis (and weekly or bi-weekly in the first month of a new job) ask your employer if you can set up a fifteen minute meeting. During this meeting ask how you are doing, and if there are any ways you can improve your performance on the job. Then be silent and write down anything they tell you. If they state you are doing a great job, you can ask what, in particular, stands out to them. Document the information, as it is useful in knowing what your boss values. If he or she tells suggests improving in some area, write it down. Ask for specific suggestions for how you can do better in this area. Don't become defensive even if you feel the feedback is off base. Recognize that somehow this is your boss' perception, and you need to do something to change their impression.
5. Develop a solid portfolio that documents your value to the organization. Keep a record of what you do each day (or week), highlighting your accomplishments. Don't assume that your boss knows all that you do. Use this documentation for updating your resume, building your self-confidence, preparing for performance evaluations and making a case for requested pay raises or promotions.
6. Keep current in your professional knowledge and skills. Knowledgeable, skillful employees are valuable employees. Take advantage of professional development opportunities such as conferences, training, certifications or additional degrees. Read professional and industry trade journals, reports and books. Successful people are committed to learning. Invest in yourself so others will want to invest in you!
Take Action to Increase Your Employment Security
Each of these strategies requires you to take action. The world is full of people who would rather sit and complain, than act to change their circumstances. Don't join them! These strategies give you the means to develop and showcase your worth to your employer. If you would like professional assistance in developing this type of employment security, we invite you to take advantage of our career coaching services.
© Article copyright by Kevin and Kay Marie Brennfleck, National Certified Career Counselors, ChristianCareerCenter.com, ChurchJobsOnline.com and ChristianJobFair.com. All rights reserved. The above information is intended for personal use only. No commercial use of this information is authorized without written permission.