In my last blog post, The Law of Compensation: How to Make More in Any Year, I promised to follow up by answering a simple and essential question: How? How do we constantly make ourselves more valuable?
As many of my readers know, I think there’s great power in brevity. So, I’ve selected 3 brief suggestions for how you can make the Law of Compensation work for you by increasing your value on an ongoing basis:
1. Educate Continuously
Expand your mastery of subjects and skills. Take classes, study, buy DVD courses, observe, and ask questions.
Learn more about your own field, and at the same time, learn more fields. You should always be expanding your horizons, because today’s fast-changing world is evolving too quickly to narrow your thinking to a single field or specialty.
2. Encourage Others
Most people focus on catching others in a mistake. But this approach is not only less appealing to those around you, it’s also less effective in creating change.
So reverse it. Catch others doing things well. Shine a spotlight on the accomplishments of your colleagues, team members, and yes, even your bosses. Be an encourager, and don’t be afraid to give others credit when and where it’s due.
In addition to supporting better outcomes for you and your colleagues, your efforts to encourage will make you a better team player, and teamwork is becoming an ever more valuable ability to employers of every stripe.
3. Create a Job Vision
Most people make the mistake of viewing their work in terms of their job description, rather than looking at the larger vision for their role.
What’s the difference? A job description describes what you do—your specific activities and tasks. A vision, on the other hand, asks you to think bigger. It describes why your role exists, what it feels like, and how it affects the total effort of your team or company.
For example, where your job description might include “creating advertisements,” your job vision would say, “enhance customer demand.” Where your job description might specify that you are to “handle customer complaints,” your job vision would explain that your goal is to “improve customer experience.”
Creating a job vision will help you to think more broadly about your role—to view your behaviors and the improvements you could make at a more sophisticated level. Often, it will help you look at your job the way your boss (or your boss’s boss) looks at it. And that’s certainly a valuable perspective to have in mind.
Thinking about your vision will also make you less myopic, which can in turn help you think of new ways to contribute—thereby increasing your value all the more.