Owning Your Value in the Workplace

This post is written based on our last Women + Tech Meetup: Making Yourself Valuable, taught by Kelly Anne O’Neill, Director of Partnerships & Programming at Atlanta Tech Village. 

Each and every one of us is built completely differently and it is so important to know your own value so that you can communicate and apply your value to your work, and consistently be growing, learning and adding to that value. We all bring something different to the table and without knowing that ourselves, how can we expect others to see it? 

When you truly know yourself, there is a refreshing confidence that happens internally which translates into how you behave in all areas of your life, but specifically, the workplace. 

“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”

– Aristotle

First off, who are you? There are so many things that feed into who you are: your whole self. 

  1. Your personal history – How were you raised? What motivates you? 
  2. Friends and family – How do the people closest to you see you?  
  3. Core values: What matters most to you? What are your personal values?

A great way to get to know yourself is by taking personality assessments. If you want to dive into some of our favorites, start with these three: 

  1. The DISC 
  2. The Enneagram 
  3. StrengthsFinder

There are so many types of assessments like these and they can all be helpful in your journey to better understand yourself, what you are good at and most importantly how you interact with others.

Knowing your strengths and focusing on what you are good at leads to a positive experience in the workplace. No one likes to be bad at things and it is truly exhausting to continue to try and improve on things you are not good at. We aren’t saying that you should stop improving on your weaknesses, but what we are suggesting is that you look into your strengths and continue to build and focus on those. 

People who focus on the strengths are:

  • 6x more engaged 
  • 6x more likely to do what you do best
  • 3x more likely to report excellent quality of life 

“Practice what you preach.”

– Barry White

There are four types of communication that we are going to talk about today. All four of these methods feed into how you can communicate your value in the workplace. 

  • Non Verbal 
  • Verbal
  • Written 
  • Visual 

NON VERBAL 

By learning more about how we use non-verbal communication, you will be better able to master yours and ensure that you are conveying your message exactly the way you wish to.

  • Facial expressions
  • Posture
  • Gestures and physical touch
  • Eye contact

How are you communicating your value through your non-verbal communication? Are you saying you are present, engaged, and ready to work or are you saying you are bored and miserable?

VERBAL 

We all know that there is so much more than the words we say. It is how we say them, the context in which we say them, and our inflection.

  • Pitch
  • Tone
  • Content

WRITTEN

Written communication is extremely important and says a lot about you. You have so many opportunities to say who you are through your written communication in emails, Slack messages – whatever it is, take every opportunity to show your value. 

  • Structure
  • Clarity
  • Content

VISUAL 

Visual communication is HUGE now with social media. One of the first things employers do when they are interviewing or interested in a candidate is look at their social profiles. Understanding how you present yourself visually is so important. What is your personal brand? What are you putting out into the world for people to see? Is it consistent with how you communicate in other ways? 

  • Content
  • Tone

Every day, you have the chance to communicate your value. Use every chance you can get, make it all count – may every email be thoughtful and every interaction leaving someone thinking more highly of you than before. Be consistent across all areas: speak the same message in all areas of your profession – if you are giving a presentation, let that show the same things about you as an email would: I am prepared, I am kind, I am in control, I’ve got this. 

You want people to walk away with a clear vision of who you are by how you present yourself and the work you do.

“Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become”

James Clear

4 Tangible Ways to Grow 

  1. Continuous Learning & Professional Development
  2. Team Mentality 
  3. Look Ahead & Set Goals
  4. Review & Self Asses

“All big things come from small beginnings. The seed of every habit is a single, tiny decision. But as that decision is repeated, a habit sprouts and grows stronger. Roots entrench themselves and branches grow. The task of breaking a bad habit is like uprooting a powerful oak from within us. And the taste of building a good habit is like cultivating a delicate flower one day at a time.”

James Clear, Author Atomic Habits