Like it or not, you are constantly communicating what you’re worth.
In any professional environment, you’re constantly giving subtle, unconscious cues on how people should regard your status, work, time, and talent.
A lot of this is in our control; it just takes conscious effort to become aware and then refine what we’re putting out into the professional world.
Most personal value advice focuses on literal valuation: researching and negotiating salary and compensation.
In my popular talk, “Own Your Value,” I break down three major ways to increase your value: owning your voice, owning your work, and owning your time.
Here are a few of my favorite pro tips for leveling up the way you’re perceived and how seriously others take your contributions.
Download this Own Your Value Cheat Sheet for a quick list of areas to practice increasing your worth! >>click to download: Pregame – Own Your Value
Own Your Voice
The obvious: what you say. The less-obvious: how you say it.
Of course, having clear, concise communication and a command of language is a benefit to any role.
Just be careful not to undermine with
“Like” as Filler
You already know. Next!
“I Feel Like”
This phrase has become popular in an effort to soften what we say when “speaking our truth.” This is fantastic in navigating interpersonal conflict, but let’s banish it from the boardroom. You don’t feel facts. Or research. Or professional opinion. Simply state your perspective without giving people opportunity to dismiss it.
It’s more common with women and far more common on the West Coast: artificially heightening the voice so as to be “nice” or unoffensive. But the real effect is communicating a child-like inability to make decisions or have authority. Speak with the tone of an adult and get respected like one.
Own Your Results
Just because you did great work doesn’t mean you’ll get recognized for it. It’s up to you to make sure the right people know how amazing you are and all you’ve done for their organization.
In a role review, this could be listing your major accomplishments in the past year – not just verbally, but in writing. It’s much harder for a boss to say no to a raise when the evidence is there in black and white.
When working on a team, make sure stakeholders know about your part of the project. Make your achievements and contributions known!
Own Your Time
Once you’re in demand, it’s time to start setting boundaries.
You can’t say yes to every request for a meeting, for input, or to pick your brain.
Even if you’re schedule is relatively empty, it can be strategic to appear as if you’re in high demand.
You don’t have to attend every event; in fact, people will respect your presence more if it’s infrequent.
Be honest with yourself about your time priorities. Chances are, not every event is truly necessary for you to attend in person, or even virtually.
The other half of this is owning your time in regard to your own professional and personal development.
Time spent working ON your business (versus in your business) is an investment in long-term growth. Working with a coach or consultant, or attending a class or conference, may be well worth the time away from busy work in how it pays off long term.
Value, after all, isn’t isolated to a price tag. It’s relative to the return you’ll get on your investment.