After working in the same job or career for a number of years, it is easy to fall into the trap of complacency. When you become complacent about your value and the progress you are making in your professional life, you open the door for others to usurp you, and your own value will drop precipitously.
Fortunately, there are a number of things that any of us can do in order to increase our value and to demonstrate our worth to our employers. The more you do this, the more it will be noticed, and the greater the rewards you will reap.
Be Consistent and Reliable
Employers will naturally place more value in an employee who is reliable and consistent in their performance. This means that you should be turning up on time, meeting deadlines, and sticking to any commitments you make, every single time. When circumstances conspire against you and cause your performance to slip, even if only for a day or two, these should be rare exceptions.
If you think that you haven’t been consistent and reliable so far, it is never too late to change! Your employer will notice if you start to put the effort in and demonstrate a genuine willingness to change and to grow.
No matter how long you have worked at your job, there is almost certainly more for you to learn. As well as the skills and knowledge that you develop during the course of your work, you can also take the initiative and enroll yourself in some kind of course or program where you can learn new skills. For example, you can find IT training and other courses on findcourses.com.
Think about what skills you currently possess, and then consider what skills you would like to develop. Try and focus your attention on skills that will enhance your ability to perform your job. If you are able to demonstrate to your employer that you are able to identify valuable skills, and pursue them on your own initiative, this will indicate to them that you are serious about your career.
Don’t Dwell on the Past
You should always be proud of your accomplishments so far in your career, but don’t fall into the trap of dwelling on the past at the expense of making progress in the present. It is important, but not always easy, to strike a delicate balance between allowing your past to inform who you are now and looking for ways to move forward in a productive manner. This means constantly being just as mindful of the future as the past.
Look for Inspiration Around You
Most of us have a number of people who we consider to have been influential on our development as people. Not everyone has someone to look up to in their professional life, however. In many cases, this is simply because people aren’t looking for that kind of inspiration. However, there is great value in having someone to look up to and to emulate in your career.
This inspiration can come from anywhere. There might be some well-known industry figure who you look up to and who you take inspiration from. However, there are often people around us who can fulfil this role. Be on the lookout for co-workers and other people within your business who exemplify the kind of work that you want to do.
Employers prefer workers who don’t need constant monitoring and motivation. Of course, a good boss will look for opportunities to keep their workers motivated, but there is a fine line between them motivating you, and them carrying you. Don’t be afraid to show initiative within the workplace, especially where you think that doing so will bring noticeable benefits to the business as a whole.
Exercising your own initiative won’t just impress your bosses either, it will also help you to build your self-confidence. The more often you make decisions on your own initiative that bring benefits to you or the organization you work for, the more confident you will feel making similar decisions in the future.
Set Yourself Goals
This ties in with the above point about showing more initiative. Many employers will set goals and objectives, either to individuals or to their workforce in general, but you should also always have your own goals and objectives. When you are setting yourself these goals, remember that your professional and personal development are often intimately linked.
When you set yourself goals, it is often helpful to begin with a general idea, something like ‘I want to get more work done during the day’. You can then begin to formulate an increasingly specific and focused approach to achieving these goals. A popular method for setting goals is to use the SMART system. SMART is an acronym, it stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.
Ask for Feedback
Another excellent demonstration of both your own initiative, and your dedication to your job, is to ask your employer for feedback on your work and performance. It is important that when asking for feedback, you remember that all feedback is valuable, whether it’s glowing or not. Of course, we all feel great when we receive positive feedback from our employer, but negative feedback is just as useful.
It might not feel good to hear criticisms and to be told that you are doing things wrong, but once you have identified these problems, you can then address them and devise solutions for improving your work in the future. Showing that you are receptive to criticism, and able to act upon it, will also demonstrate to your employer that you have a mature approach and a genuine desire to better yourself.
Don’t Obsess About Others
It is only natural to compare your performance to that of your co-workers but beware of putting too much stock in what they think of you. It is good to have healthy competition with your colleagues; if you are able to push one another to produce better work, the whole organization will ultimately benefit.
Work Well with Others
You will enjoy your work a lot more if you are working with the people around you, rather than against them. As we said above, some healthy competition can give some people the nudge that they need to take their work to the next level. Demonstrating your ability to work well with other people is something that your bosses will take note of.
Put yourself in the position of a business owner, it obviously makes your job much easier if the people working for you are able to work together and communicate effectively as a team. Where there are fractures and divisions within the organizations, these cracks can turn into fissures with the slightest provocation.
You should always be on the lookout for opportunities to increase your value, both to your current employer, and to any future employers. The key to increasing your value to employers lies in your ability to take the initiative and to focus your self-improvement efforts on certain key areas. Never be afraid to ask your boss for a performance review or some more detailed feedback as this will help you to improve the quality of your work and will also demonstrate that you care.