I have touched on this topic in previous blogs and will continue to remind anyone either seeking a raise, a promotion, or a new gig all together. In fact, I already did recommend value documentation to everyone we have coached in 2017. You read that right - 100% of our client base this year needed clarity on what it means to show value across your professional portfolio and in your daily work. The good news is that this is a very simple process once you understand the means available to you and one that is infinitely replicable moving forward.
Value documentation as a concept is simple - when your boss asks you what you did today, what would you be proud to respond with. Option 1 below?
Would a statement such as, “I did my best to resolve those conflicts you asked about this morning” impress?
Maybe. How about option two?
“I resolved both issues at hand with my top client, and put together a plan for resolving the remaining three tomorrow before noon.”
Definitely. Even though you have remaining work to deliver (and may have accomplished the same tasks in both instances) , the second approach shows an attention to what bosses prioritize more than most anything else: value.
I believe that such an approach takes three distinct steps. Once these are mastered, you can simply “rinse and repeat” as you move through your professional lives.
Tactical: Think about how you impact your business at a daily level. Do you resolve issues? Manage expectations? Create or deliver something meaningful? How does what you do on a daily basis impact your firm? Once you have some clarity here, make sure you begin to document your daily impact in a way that will stick with you regardless of where you land next (i.e. do not use your company laptop). For those of us who work in less metricized industries, this school of thought can be more challenging than those who work in clear cut quantitative roles, but will impact your career just the same.
Strategic: For those of us who have been with our firms for years and are just beginning to think in terms of value, take the same practice as above and look through the lens of your impact since arrival. Of course, begin to document the tactical as well, but I challenge you to arrive at three ways your firm would be worse off without your work. Not going to lie, it’s hard not to smile if you’ve had a particularly successful career.
Actually Use It: Once you’ve figured out your tactical and strategic value, have a process in place to keep track of it, and begin to approach each day with a “why am I excellent” mentality, the last piece is the most fun - using the stuff! These nuggets of value should be included in resumes and cover letters for future initiatives, but also come in mighty handy when seeking a raise or promotion.
Remember - if you do not take the time to show your value, nobody will. Your firm will not provide you a packet of all your awesome accomplishments, YOU have to take control and show them not only why you’re a