People First HR Services

Protecting your market value

Bev Braun-Allard

If you’re not constantly improving on the work you do, the people you know and the brand you’ve created for yourself, then your market value goes down.

I read this somewhere a long while back and saved it because it really resonated with me. I happened across it again today in some notes I’ve kept and it connected with me once again. I wish I could remember where I saw it – then I could give credit where credit is due.

Regardless, it’s a relevant message with respect to career self-management.

Career self-management is an ongoing process. It’s never too late to get started (if you’re not on top of it already), and for as long as you’re working you’ll never actually be done. Not in today’s world of work where things are moving fast and evolving quickly.  Whether you’re just starting out in your career or in the later stages, if you stand still while things are around you are changing, you run the risk of becoming obsolete – of decreasing your market value.

valueWhat does that mean for you? How can you protect your market value? Here are a few ideas for you to consider:

Apply some energy into evaluating your performance in your current role.

Are you the best you can be? Are you fully engaged in the work you’re doing and delivering an A performance? If you can’t answer yes to this one, this is where you start. If you’re not delivering your best performance in the role you’re in now, you’ll lose market value quickly. If you’re just going through the motions, you need to figure out why and do something about it. Maybe you’re too focused on what’s next in your career and not focused enough on the role you’re in right now. Maybe you’re in the wrong position. Maybe you’ve become complacent. Whatever the reason, be a career self-manager. Take steps to deal with the situation.

Look for ways to add value to your organization.

If you’re confident your performance in your current role is strong, start looking for ways to add even more value to your organization. What could you do that would be great for your development that would also be of benefit to your company? Don’t wait to be asked. Instead, identify the opportunity and volunteer to take it on. This is one of the best ways for you to manage your market value.

Invest in your professional development – not occasionally, but all of the time.

Take every opportunity you can to learn something new whether through on-the-job opportunities, through volunteering or through taking a course. Even if there’s not a budget for it, there are many ways you can grow and develop. If you’re focused on ongoing professional development, you lessen the risk of your skills and experience becoming outdated.

Build a network around you, both internally and externally.

Take the time to build and maintain solid relationships with people inside your organization. Of equal importance is to nurture external relationships that can help you stay on top of what’s happening in your industry and/or your community. As you build and maintain relationships, bear in mind how you interact with people internally and externally, in person and via social media, reflects on your personal brand.

Take a critical look at your personal brand.

Your personal brand is your reputation and will either enhance or decrease your market value . How are you known? What message are you putting out there about who you are and what you can be counted on for? Spend some time reflecting and then planning on what you need to do in order to be sure your actions every day reflect the brand message you want to send.

What do you think? Are you willing to run the risk of decreasing in value? Instead, pay attention to these four things in order to protect your market value over both the short and long term.