How to Become More Valuable at Work

Your job is paying you to do one thing and only one thing; to add value to the company. You were hired because they believed you were very capable of doing your job well. But now that you have proved that you can do the job, how do you take your career to the next step?

The answer is very simple; increase your value. Author Jim Rohn once said something that has change my entire perspective on how I advanced my career. Mr. Rohn said :You don’t get paid by the hour, you get paid for the value you put into the hour”. What that means is if you want to increase your pay, increase your worth.

There are many ways a worker can increase their value but I’m going to give you just a few that has helped me advance my career in a very short time. I am also an entrepreneur and have had several employees. Every employee that I have given raises and bonuses to have all gotten them by increase how their worth to me and my company.

 

Wear Raw Ambition On Your Sleeve

Some people often feel as though they are not being treated the way they would like by their job. How many times have you heard someone say, “I work and work and they my bosses never give me any recognition. I want to move up but I get passed up for promotions all of the time. They don’t even know I exist.”

This is always a sad situation for many people because many companies would love to advance an employee that has the ambition to move up. They just need to see that you desire to advance. But how are they going to know who wants to advance their career?

Many people assume that just because they are doing their job, that is enough to get them noticed. Those are the very same people that get frustrated when they are passed up for promotions. I am a very ambitious person and I used to tone that inner drive down when I was around co-workers that did not have the same ambition I had.

Right before my latest promotion, I made it a point to have a clear career goal. Not only was I clear on my career path, my boss, his boss, her boss and their boss knew exactly what direction I wanted to go. This was of great importance once new positions opened up. Since everyone knew that I was capable and interested, my name would always come up when they talked about who would fill those positions.

 

Outgrow Your Current Position: The Potted Plant Principle

Many people make the mistake of believing their job is not important enough to give their full effort to.

They say things like “If I get that $3,000 raise then I’ll really try harder.” This is a mistake that will most likely keep an individual in the same position for many years.

If you’ve every had a growing plant in a pot that was too small, you know that in order for that plant to keep on growing, you will have to move it to a larger pot, or relocate it to a spot in your backyard. I was a idea I came up with when I was stuck in a dead end job. Actually, it was a good job but there was very little room for growth. Since the 60 plus employees knew that, most did their jobs well, but few of them put their full effort into it.

Since I decided that I wanted to achieve more in my career, I developed the potted plant principle which means that I would grow in my value, experience, and knowledge until I had outgrown my current position. Here is how it works.

First, I would observe my job and what was required of me. Then, I would brainstorm ideas on how I can contribute more to my position. From there, I would give my full effort into my job everyday.

In this case, this meant that I took lead roles in committees, volunteered to stay late when we were behind schedule, and doing extra things that were not in my job description.

About a year went by and there were still no opportunities within the department to grow so I began looking for another position. With all of the extra work I put in, my resume looked very attractive to other companies. In no time I had landed another job. Within six months of being at my new job, I got promoted to a leadership position.

All of this was possible because I outgrew my old position. I had increased my professional value so much that there was no place for me to go but up. Many people who are stuck in an unwanted position stay stuck because they have not yet outgrown their current flower pot.  

Make Your Bosses Life Easier

Being in charge is not a walk in the park. Many bosses experience the stress high demands of managing a business. That’s why making their job easier will make you a valuable commodity.

Imagine if you were in your boss’s position where you were responsible for managing employees, meeting long-term goals for the company, as well as making sure the business runs smoothly from day to day. Then, imagine having one of your employees that is always eager to help you. This employee consistently steps up when you need them to and even goes above and beyond what is necessary just to make your life easier. How valuable would that be to you?

If you said very valuable, then you are correct! Here are some ways you can make your boss’s job easier and in the process, increase your professional value.

Become a problem solver

Be the person others go to for answers. When problems come, find solutions that will benefit the company, clients, and employees. This may take some practice but once you’ve become a problem solver, your boss will do almost anything to make sure that you are happy.

Prevent problems from happening

Become proactive in preventing disaster and your boss will see you as responsible, capable, and thorough. From there, you will be a likely candidate for more responsibility which usually means more money.

Be a leader in the boss’s absence

In my leadership roles I can’t be everywhere at once. For me, it is always valuable to have someone who will make the same decisions I would make if I were in a certain situation. In basketball there is a term called “the coach on the floor”. Its usually given to a player that call the right plays at the right time, and makes good decisions.

The idea is since a coach can’t suit up and play, the next best thing is to have someone out there making the same decisions he would be making. Once you become a “coach on the floor” you are positioning yourself to be promoted to a level where you can call the shots.

 

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  • http://www.aspire.org.ng Editor

    I love the part about out-growing your current environment. i’ve found that to be true and i’m in the process of doing that for myself right now. great post!

  • ralphjp

    Great to hear!  Let me know how it works out for you:)

  • Unconventional

    I found this to be very motivating for me but I’m very young and jsut starting my career, I’m in a position where I’m not entirely sure what I’m supposed to be doing and it doesn’t seem like my boss(es) do either. My work load is very low while everyone else is working their butts off, should i just reach out to other people and ask to help them with their work? I have a current project that I’m finding many dead ends with and my direct boss has no faith in the project’s purpose…

    Thanks for the article, I’m going to try taking more proactive risks and offering more ideas.

  • ralphjp

    I would definitely step out and see how you can help others.  By doing that, you are showing your initiative and your willingness to be a team player.  Not only that, you’ve also made yourself more valuable to your co-workers.  Those things will definitely be factors when promotion time comes around

  • http://www.novedadesesteticas.com/ Laura Figueroa

    Hi Ralph,

    I’ve just started a new job and was looking for
    some tips about how to do it right, (and right to the top if possible). After
    reading your post I realized I really need to work on getting recognition. I
    feel exactly as you describe, and now I understand they just need to see that I
    desire to advance. I will follow your advice and try to let everybody above me
    know that I’m capable and interested in being promoted. Thanks for sharing!

    Laura

  • ralphjp

    Congrats on the new job!  I hope the tips help to reach the level of success that you are striving for.  Please, let me know how it works out for you.