Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Demonstrating value is about telling the story of how you have influenced outcomes. Relying on years of experience, listing responsibilities of past positions doesn't convey value -- they don't establish your brand. You have to articulate how that experience and how those responsibilities contributed to the organization's goals, to its bottom line.
Recalibrating years of experience and increasing levels of responsibility to value begins by focusing on accomplishments. Telling the story of your accomplishments must be done concisely. There are a number of acronyms to frame your stories" CARs, SARs, STARs and SOARs. Each focuses on a problem, situation or opportunity that required action; the action taken to address them, and the results or outcomes of those actions and their impacts on the organization. Look back at your recent assignments and your achievements. Fit them into the model -- situation, action, results -- and determine your value.
Many people protest that they can't determine the value of their actions. Results don't have to be measured quantitatively in terms of dollars earned or saved, or time saved. Results can be qualitative as well. Perhaps you initiated a anew strategy that changed the direction of a program in trouble or turned around a disgruntled customer. Maybe you trained staff in the outsourced assembly or manufacture of a product. Or you might have convinced a group of decision makers to go in a different direction, which made the organization more relevant in its market.
Once you have determined your value, tell your story. Tell it in an interview in response to the questions "tell me about yourself" and "what are your strengths.' Tell it to your friends and colleagues in your network.
In today's highly competitive environment, conveying your value is critical to your success. It differentiates you from everyone else, from the competition. It becomes your brand.
Have you recalibrated your value? Can you tell stories of the value you bring to an organization?
Barbara Babkirk is a Master Career Counselor and founder of Heart At Work Associates, a career counseling and outplacement firm in Portland.
With a focused and intuitive approach, Barbara makes a difference in people’s lives by helping them design a new life chapter. She has a successful record guiding career transitions for professionals ranging from executives and artists to attorneys and entrepreneurs.
An expert in her field, Barbara is a public speaker on work-related topics writes a solutions-oriented column about work for the Portland Sunday Telegram.
Scott Woodard is a career coach with Heart At Work Associates, a career counseling and outplacement business in Portland, Maine.
Scott works with clients to identify and articulate their value and their personal brand. He helps clients develop clear, concise and crisp messaging to convey their particular difference, their achievements and their approach.
Scott coaches clients to market their brand through social media platforms, especially LinkedIn. He offers monthly workshops on how to make the most of LinkedIn for businesses or job seekers.