If you asked 100 people if they felt they should be getting paid more than they currently receive at their job, I’d bet at least 99 of them would say yes (I didn’t say all 100 because you can never account for a random outlier).
If you asked that same 100 people to define the value they bring to their jobs in order to justify a higher salary, 25% of them would just look at you weird, 50% of them wouldn’t be able to do it, and the remaining 25% would make an attempt — but ultimately fail to list anything that set them apart from any other average worker earning an average wage.
When someone asks you to explain the value you bring to a job, a project, a meeting, or an organization, your answers can’t just be about how you show up on time and do your job.
That’s what they’re already paying you for.
If you want to increase your perceived value as an employee or a partner you need to dig deeper into reasons why the company is better off for having you in the role rather than anyone else in the world. Anyone can punch a clock and shuffle papers. How is having you in the room worth more than just bringing in some new guy who will work for a dollar less per hour?
For me it’s always been a valuable advantage to focus on the benefits of being a creative thinker and problem solver. I look at situations in a unique way, so I bring a perspective to any company that they wouldn’t otherwise have. I can then give specific examples of projects and customer interactions where those creative insights made a difference in professional relationships and company profits.
How to identify your value
- What do you do in a way that impresses others?
- What talent do you have that others seem to appreciate or perhaps even say they wish they could do as well as you?
- How do you apply that talent toward your job?
- How do you integrate it into the work you produce?
- What are the positive results from injecting your value into the workplace?
Anyone can paint.
Not everyone can be a Picasso.
You have the ability to turn every project into a masterpiece if you can identify and apply the unique value you bring to every situation.