Ever wondered what makes you unique and how that uniqueness can catapult your career to new heights? Fasten your seatbelts, for this episode of the Mid-Career GPS Podcast is all about discovering your unique value and how to leverage it effectively in your work environment. An electrifying journey awaits as your host, John Neral, shares the secret four-step formula that has been the ladder to success for countless mid-career professionals.
In this episode, John helps you identify where you bring the most value to your organization and help you identify one area of development between now and your next performance appraisal.
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Last week's Shorty episode talked about who catches you doing good and how you showcase that when you're networking or interviewing. This week's question is where do you bring the most value to your team or organization? We've discussed on the podcast about how you can show up from a place of value and service. Your service is based on what you do. Your value is that thing only you can bring. It's what makes you unique and helps you stand out from everyone else. But do you know what that is? In this episode, I'm going to help you identify where you bring the most value to your organization and help you identify one area of development between now and your next performance appraisal. Let's get started. Hello, my friends, this is episode 175 of the Mid-Career GPS Podcast. I'm your host, john Nerrell. I help mid-career professionals who feel stuck, undervalued and underutilized show up to find a job they love, or love the job they have, by using my proven four-step formula. I've got a free guide on my website and you can check the show notes as well. It's called Five Mistakes Mid-Career Professionals Make and Need to Stop Doing. This guide is going to help you focus on what matters most in your job search and your career progression and not get caught or stuck in some of these mid-career derailers I see over and over again. You can check the show notes or visit my website at johnnerrellcom to download your free guide today. While you're there, make sure to check out the Resources tab for other free and paid resources to help you and your career transition. One of those mid-career mistakes is not knowing how to communicate your value. Here's an example. Next week I have another appointment with my dentist. I typically go back to my dentist every four months for a teeth cleaning One of those things where I don't have the best teeth in the world in terms of like. I got a lot of cavities in my mouth. My family is historic for very soft teeth. It's been really important for me to make sure I take care of my teeth. I had braces twice in my 30s and in my 40s. It gives you an idea of how important it is for me to keep my teeth well. I've got an amazing dentist. I think the world of him. I think the world of him and his staff every time I go there. Look, going to the dentist is not the most pleasant experience, but I go to him because he's amazing at what he does, and the same thing for his team, right? So when I've got dental pain, I want to make sure it gets taken care of immediately. The thing is, I know he's able to deliver results and even though I don't like going to the dentist, I like going to see him and his staff, and even if I have to pay out of pocket for it every now and then, that's fine, because I know he's going to take exceptional care of me. Who are you taking exceptional care of at work? You are the people that are directly benefiting from your outstanding or exceptional value You're providing at work every single week, consistently, time and time again. How do people see you at work? How do you help them? Where are you or what are you doing? That makes you better than anybody else? That's the one thing that makes you stand out as that go-to person that people need to seek out because they know you're going to fix or help them with a particular problem. That's what I need you to consider here this week. Your value is part of your story. Your story is what you need to be communicating. That gets people more interested in who you are and what you do. The research shows more and more that the better you are at telling your story, the more people get interested in who you are and what you do. If you're not a good storyteller and if you get nervous in interviews, then by all means go back and check a few episodes ago, where we talked about how to control your nerves in an interview. Here are five considerations I want you to think about that's going to help you to determine where you excel in your career. These are things that I specifically help my clients get clarity on when they're trying to navigate their career transition. It's one of the first things that we end up doing in the coaching relationship is to really help them figure out where they are an asset or they are strong or beneficial in their organization. I want them to get so crystal clear on telling their story that they tell their story in unflappable or unshakable ways whenever they're networking or interviewing. The first consideration is you have to know your strengths. When you think about your strengths, I want you to think about them very concretely and clearly and not in some kind of grand term. So yeah, you're a hard worker, you're a great communicator, you're a team player All those things land flat now. They're expected. So if you want to share that you're a great collaborator or a contributor wonderful. Make sure you give an example behind that when you think about what your strengths are. What are you naturally good at? What comes easy to you? I worked with a client one time who was this whiz at Excel. They were able to handle so many different things for their company when it came to Excel. They knew how to do pivot tables, which I do not understand how to do that. I don't have a need to do that in my current work, but their level of expertise and knowledge in Excel was so good they didn't think it was valuable, and so we got really clear together about where that was valuable and why that was valuable and how that was saving time because they were so proficient in this particular skill. Well, the same applies to you. Where are you exceptional at doing something? So one thing that you can do is take a piece of paper or open up a notepad file and start writing down all of your strengths and next to each of them, put a value next to it, not a numerical value, but a value about why it is that particular strength is so important, because it sets you apart from everybody else or it makes you stand out at work. So consideration number one is you've got to recognize your strengths and get clear about it. Number two is about assessing your performance. So here you can evaluate past performances and outcomes for your work. Where have you consistently delivered high-quality results? Where have you gotten specific feedback from supervisors or clients? And what you want to do here is start looking at patterns. What are people consistently saying about you when you've been successful and where your work stands out From a developmental standpoint? Obviously, if you are getting feedback that is consistently about an area you need to change or work on, that can be important as well. So one of the things might be not doing so much tactical work but being more strategic. So think about where your performance is and really lean into. What are you doing well and what do you need to learn. Number three is one that is often overlooked, and it's so easy to overlook it because you get caught up in the busyness and the day to day that you forget to track your contributions. Typically, what happens is you get time for your performance review and you're like, oh, let me go back through my calendar and see what I did. Here's what I wanna offer you, wherever you keep it and if it's on your work computer, make sure you are printing out a copy or you have that in case something changes at work and you do not have access to that file. But you're gonna track your contributions, keep a record of any particular achievements, projects and impact from your work and you're gonna note that somewhere. But I want you to quantify your contributions wherever possible, such as where to increase efficiency, saved money, generated more revenue, brought in more people, whatever that might be. But you need concrete evidence of your value in order to help you tell that compelling story. People want to know details, so think about those details and directly tie them to your contributions. What I would suggest to you and this was a thing that I did when I was working that typical nine to five type job was I put a calendar invite on the last Thursday of every month for myself for 30 minutes to go back into my calendar and track those contributions. And if I got really busy and I wasn't able to do it on that Thursday, that went on to my to-do list and I made sure that that got done within 48 business hours because I knew if I let it go too long I was sacrificing how well, I was gonna tell my story to my management and leadership about how effective I was. Consideration number four may be one that's very easy for you to identify, but where I wanna challenge you here is how much better you can tell your story. So a lot of you are problem solvers. You'll talk about that when we initially meet or if we're networking, and one of the things that you're known for is being a problem solver. That's great, that is essential and such a key component. What I wanna know is why are you good at problem solving? How do you do that? Being a reliable problem solver and taking initiative on solving those problems can absolutely make you stand out from the competition. And the other thing is where are you looking for opportunities to solve challenging or more complex problems, or even taking on projects that others may find difficult? Being a problem solver is great. How you tell that part of your story about why you're a great problem solver makes you more exceptional and gets more people interested in who you are and what you do. The last consideration is all about staying updated and current. So how are you continuously learning? What does your learning and professional development look like? And if you are solely depending on your organization to provide that to you, you are missing a huge component of that. You need to be completely responsible for your learning and insights. Where are you bringing that information into conversations at work? How are you staying up to date with industry's trends or advancements in your field? Being knowledgeable and adaptable can absolutely make you an indispensable asset at work, because they know your brain's always thinking, it's always moving, it's not staying stagnant. One of the things that happened a couple of weeks ago in terms of your job search is that we got a report that said that the number of job openings had decreased. The very next day, we got a different report that said the jobs in private sector had increased. When we drill down in those areas and we say, okay, where are the jobs? Where are people looking? Where are they finding success? How long is it taking someone to find a job? It's one of the ways that I get to stay update and current with my field and my line of work to help even better serve my clients that I have and I will be having. Those are the things that make me more valuable in terms of helping them. So what is the industry insights or information you need to be gathering that is helping you stay current and updated and more valuable in your career. When you think about these five considerations, the one thing you can do between now and your next performance appraisal is to cultivate a growth mindset. One of my show-up six strategies is to welcome new opportunities. Where are you welcoming them in your career? Where are you open to feedback and continuously striving to improve? Demonstrating a growth mindset shows that you are committed to the work you're doing and the organization to become even more valuable over time. And if you're listening to that and you say, hey, john, you know what, I'm not so sure my organization is valuing me right now. Well, there's a couple of things at play here. One is you can continually show them why you are valuable and if their decision changes, ie in a case of a layoff or termination or you're not given a promotion, those are things that you are going to leverage when you take your talent and expertise elsewhere, because you are building that growth mindset from a place of value and service to your current as well as to your next organization. As I wrap up here, what I want you to remember is that this conversation, and last week's conversation, is not about you walking around puffing your chest out and thinking that you're better than your colleagues. This is about understanding how your unique strengths and contributions align with your personal and professional goals, but also the goals and needs of the organization. I want to offer that it is to your advantage to focus on how you can leverage your strengths and find more ways to make a positive impact in your role, which naturally highlight your value within that organization, team or department. That sets you up for what you're doing now and whatever is next for you and your career. Okay, don't forget to check out my website at johnnarrellcom for more information about how I can help you build your mid-career GPS. And yeah, by the next time you hear this, or maybe the couple episodes afterwards, I'll have my teeth cleaned and I'll have another wonderful visit with my dentist. I'm very happy about that. So maybe that's a reminder for you to go get your teeth cleaned as well. So remember this, my friends we build our mid-career GPS one mile or one step at a time, and how we show up matters. It's more important than ever. Make it a great rest of your day. Thank you for listening to the Mid-Career GPS podcast. Make sure to follow on your favorite listening platform and, if you have a moment, I'd love to hear your comments on Apple podcasts. Visit johnnarrellcom for more information about how I can help you build your mid-career GPS or how I can help you in your organization with your next workshop or public speaking event. Don't forget to connect with me on LinkedIn and follow me on social at John Narrell Coaching. I look forward to being back with you next week. Until then, take care and remember how we show up matters.