When you’re looking for a raise, recognition, or a little more respect, revising your words is a great place to start. The fact is, you may be an expert accountant, a brilliant programmer, or an accomplished researcher but if you don’t tell others about the impact of your work, create meaning for your contributions, or assign language to the intangible qualities you offer, you’re missing important opportunities to demonstrate your value. Rather than feeling awkward and staying silent with your fingers crossed, read through the suggestions below and give one (or more) a try.
While it’s fantastic that you brought in three new clients or developed a new process for proofing social media posts, it’s the impact each of these contributions make that highlights your value. Will those three new clients add up to 27% more revenue? Does the new social media process create efficiencies that free up 10 hours of staff time every week? Taking just a few minutes to think through the impact of your accomplishments will position you to leap on the next opportunity to illustrate your worth. Include the metrics whenever there’s an chance to do so. For example, when you’re congratulated for the three new clients, you can respond with, “Thanks so much! It’s really exciting that this new business increases our overall revenue by more than 25%.”
Your impact might be more revenue for the company or more time for the creatives to work their magic, but what does that mean? Telling a story around the impact of your accomplishments is a fantastic way to document the benefits of your work. Perhaps the increase in revenue allows the company the space to consider expanding or pursuing an important client with a longer lead time. Maybe having creatives free to be creative means higher quality posts or time to get really innovative with social media campaigns. Connecting the dots for your leadership underlines the way your work improves the company as a whole, and that’s worth noting! How? Try, “The revenue from those three new clients takes a little pressure off the team so we can pause and reassess our direction. It’s great to have a little breathing room!”
Another, less obvious, way for you to revise your words to demonstrate your value is to talk about the skills you offer that don’t always have hard data as proof. Perhaps you are able to keep a talented but difficult co-worker engaged or motivate the team when they are overwhelmed or inspire creativity with your knack for insightful questions. All of these skills are valuable but we don’t always notice them in others in a way that translates to appreciation for a job well done. Help those around you recognize the value of your diplomacy, encouragement, or sense of possibility. How? Create a bridge between your intangible skills and their success like so: “I’m so glad Steve responded enthusiastically to my suggestions, his new idea for product placement is brilliant!”
As you begin looking for ways to use your words to increase your worth, you’ll find opportunities in places you never expected. For example, a colleague of mine recently decided to step away from management for a while. Rather than expecting or accepting a pay decrease with the switch, he delivered a beautifully rendered email to those who determine his compensation. In a concise and confident way, he outlined his contributions to the company, his expertise, and his ongoing professional education. His message wasn’t one of desperation or entitlement, it was focused on his role in the work environment and his value to the company at large, his co-workers, and his clients. His pay rate didn’t change when his job title did. I’d suggest his way with words that made a significant difference.
Talk to you next week,
P.S. We have very big news about our new endeavors to share with you very soon!