Do you know your value?

5 tips to identify (and own) your value

In speaking with clients, women in my workshops and colleagues – typically very accomplished high-achievers – I’ve noticed a recurring theme.

Despite their many achievements, credentials and successes, they honestly don’t seem to understand the incredible value they bring.

Case in point: my client Kelly is the most productive person I know. She can accomplish more in one day than most people do in three days. Kelly is super smart, knowledgeable on a breadth of subjects and has a real knack for technology. What an amazing skill set!

But Kelly is pushing herself relentlessly and it’s taking a toll on her health and her confidence.

“I want to do work I enjoy. I need to make more money. But I’m not getting many interviews. When I do, I don’t usually make it past the initial round. I’m so discouraged. This whole process is exhausting me.”

Her solution?

  • Work harder (she’s already putting in long days and working weekends).

  • Take more courses (though she has multiple degrees and certifications).

  • Chase every opportunity (time consuming and off strategy).

As we talked things through, Kelly started to recognize that she was holding onto some beliefs that were getting her in her own way and limiting her possibilities.

She’d bought into the myth that overwork, more credentials and being the “perfect” candidate would guarantee success.

But instead, these strategies left her frustrated, over extended and totally stressed out. Can you relate? (I’ve fallen into this trap, too!).

Kelly didn’t need to work more or get additional certifications. She needed to identify and own her true value, then communicate it effectively.

Here are 5 tips to help you do the same.

  1. Release judgment. This isn’t the time to downplay your accomplishments. A surprising number of women attribute their success to a lucky break, the team, or circumstances. It isn’t boastful or self-serving to own the role you played and the skills you mastered.

  2. Take inventory. There are many places where you can find information. Your resume, performance appraisals, input from colleagues, friends and clients. Include your results (quantify when possible), top skills, personal traits, credentials and intangible assets

  3. Assess your findings. What are your top strengths? Where can you improve? If you’re getting consistent feedback about something (even if you disagree), that’s how others perceive you. Address behaviors that don’t align with the person you want to be.

  4. Articulate your value. Write a short paragraph that captures the essence of who you are, the problems you solve, and the skills you bring. This serves as the core of your career strategy. Use it internally, in a job search or in developing your business.

  5. Communicate strategic impact. Don’t assume someone else will automatically recognize how you can help them achieve their most important goals. Connect the dots for them by indicating how you’re uniquely qualified to solve their biggest challenges.

So what’s next for Kelly? Now that she is clear on the full measure of her strengths, accomplishments, skills, and special qualities, her confidence is on the rise and she’s strategically focused on finding work she really wants to do.

Added bonus? She’s getting a lot more sleep.

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