Knowing Your Value

I recently attended a talk given by Richard Smith, the co-author of a new book, “The 5 Patterns of Extraordinary Careers.” This book is selling like hotcakes, and I was curious to hear what the buzz was all about.

It turns out that the book’s authors have identified how exceptional executives achieve career success.

Their findings point to five factors:

  • understanding the value of you
  • practicing benevolent leadership
  • solving the permission paradox (direct versus implied permission)
  • the 20/80 principle of performance, and
  • finding the right fit

More on these factors in future newsletters.

I honed in on the first factor, “knowing your value,” which struck me as a no-brainer. But then, I realized there’s a lot more to it.

I wondered, how many of you know your own value in the workplace?

Your answer probably was a number, right? Like the aggregate of your salary, benefits and perks?

Not even close.

Consider the following when pondering your worth:

  • Your age.
    Are you in the beginning stages of your career, where employers will be investing in your potential for the future? In middle age, where you don’t need training and are functioning at your fullest capacity? Or older, where you offer stability and the full breadth of your considerable experience?
  • Market demand.
    Is your profession currently growing or in a consolidation mode? Remember the late 1990s when Internet mavens were in demand and could write their own tickets? Now, those folks are in the unenviable inverse position. If you are in an industry that’s not growing, consider translating your skills to another segment of your profession that would improve your worth.
  • Your career trajectory.
    Have you worked for the market leaders? How quickly have you moved up? What types of career-making projects have you been responsible for? What are the reputations of your past bosses?
  • Adding value.
    What have you done to continue learning and improving your skill sets? Can you point to specific learning experiences that exposed you to other leaders and added to your repertoire of tools?
  • Do your homework.
    Salaries vary according to location, years of experience, etc. Check out www.salary.com or befriend knowledgeable recruiters who have their finger on the pulse of your market.

Hey, knowing your value takes work.

But you’re worth it!

Suggested Reading

The 5 Patterns of Extraordinary Careers
by James M. Citrin and Richard A. Smith

This book has been receiving rave reviews – it’s already in its third printing, and it’s just been published. The findings are backed by extensive research and interviews conducted by the authors. That’s a first. The 5 patterns, mentioned earlier in this newsletter, consolidate the behaviors, methods and mindset that have helped these supremely successful executives rise to the top of their profession. Simply stated, the 5 patterns offer a powerful formula for career advancement.