Do you know your value?
I bet not that many of us really have it clear. Those things that we’re really good at, known for and can bring to the table to add value to others. It seems like it should be an obvious tool in any career development toolkit but so many of us, especially women, never even consider taking a good long look at how much we’re really worth.
Not all women struggle with this issue but many do and there are also many possible reasons why some women may find it difficult to talk about their value. One of the underlying issues is based in cultural and societal conditioning, which has historically placed less value on women’s contributions and accomplishments compared to men’s. As a result, some women may have internalised these messages and struggle to recognise and articulate their own worth and achievements.
Additionally, women may face unique challenges in the workplace or other areas of their lives that can make it difficult to assert themselves and communicate their value. For example, women may face gender discrimination, bias, and stereotypes that can undermine their confidence and make them hesitant to speak up or even admit to themselves just how good they are and how much they’ve achieved.
But once you unlock your value and become really comfortable with seeing it and sharing it with others, then it becomes a fundamental tool in your career development kit and enables you to articulate your strengths for job applications and promotions, negotiate your worth and feel confident speaking up for yourself and others.
So how do you work out what your value is?
Drill down and produce your own Personal Value Proposition (PVP)
This is a tool which historically has been used by businesses that essentially summarises why a customer or client would choose your products or services over another provider. But any savvy careerist also knows that this simple tool is also something that individuals need to possess too.
What is a Personal Value Proposition then?
A personal value proposition is a statement that defines the unique combination of skills, strengths, experiences, and qualities that you, as an individual bring to the table and how you can create value for a specific audience or employer. It’s your elevator pitch, your brand statement, and your competitive advantage rolled into one and it essentially outlines what makes you unique and why you are the best fit for a particular role or any future opportunities.
A personal value proposition typically includes a brief summary of an individual’s professional background, key achievements, skills, and strengths, as well as a description of the problems they can solve or the value they can create for a specific audience. It can be used in various contexts, such as in job applications, networking events, or personal branding efforts. By articulating your own personal value proposition, you are then in a position to differentiate yourself from others and increase your chances of success in your chosen field.
How do you write one?
So before you start rolling your eyes and feeling the pain starting to mount when you have to focus on what you’re good at and start all that bragging and selling yourself, bla bla bla, take a breath and get practical. This is just an exercise in telling the truth. You are doing nothing more than spelling out the actual facts about you that might also help others decide whether you can add value for them. Does that make things easier? Are you ready to take a look at what yours could look like?
- Identify your unique value proposition
Your PVP should communicate what makes you unique and valuable. What are your strengths, skills, experiences, and achievements that make you you? What problems can you solve, what opportunities can you create, and what results can you deliver? Your PVP should be specific, measurable, and relevant to your target audience. For example, instead of saying “I’m a hard worker with good communication skills,” you could say “I’m a certified project manager with a track record of delivering complex projects on time and under budget, and I can help your company streamline its operations and increase its profitability.”
- Understand your target audience
Before you start crafting your PVP, it’s important to understand who your target audience is. Even if you are not currently looking for a new role, think about the industry you work in or would like to work in in future. Who are you trying to communicate with, and what are their needs, pain points, and expectations? Whether you’re targeting a specific employer, a client, or a business partner, you need to know what they’re looking for and what they value. If you are crafting your PVP with a job move in mind, research the company, industry, or market you’re targeting, and identify their goals, challenges, and opportunities. This will help you tailor your PVP to their needs and interests.
- Craft a concise and compelling statement
Your PVP should be concise, clear, and memorable. It should capture your target audience’s attention and make them want to learn more about you. You also want to be able to quickly recall elements of it if you need to make a case for yourself in a meeting or chance encounter. Aim for a statement that is no longer than two or three sentences, and make sure it includes the following elements:
– Your target audience: Who are you addressing? Who do you serve?
– Your unique value proposition: What makes you special?
– The benefits you offer: What can you do for your target audience? What are your top skills?
Here’s an example of a PVP for a marketing professional:
“As a data-driven marketer with a passion for storytelling, I help brands create compelling content that engages and converts their target audience. By combining my analytical skills with my creative flair, I can help your company increase its brand awareness, lead generation, and customer loyalty.”
- Test your PVP
Once you’ve crafted your PVP, test it with your network, colleagues, or mentors. Ask for feedback on its clarity, relevance, and impact. Does it resonate with your target audience? Does it differentiate you from other candidates? Does it inspire curiosity and interest? Does it do you justice? Use their feedback to refine and improve your PVP until you feel confident that it communicates your unique value and differentiates you from the rest.
Writing an impactful personal value proposition not only requires research, self-awareness, and creativity but it also requires you to jump into who you really are and ask yourself what you really want. What do you want to be known for, what can people rely on your for, who do you want to serve with your best skills?
By getting clear on these questions and truly understanding yourself and your target audience, you can more easily identify your unique value proposition and craft a concise and compelling statement which can be used as a powerful tool that can help you achieve your career goals and stand out in a crowded market.
All that’s left now is to go out and do it. Because you’re worth it.
Career Empowerment Coach
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