Creating Personal Value

After analyzing a client’s daily operations during a recent visit to its site, I made several changes to their system to automate some manual processes. When the reality of the huge reduction in manual labor sank in, the staff gasped, "Well, what are we going to do now?" There was real concern their jobs would be on the line for lack of work – and even some fearful backpedaling and talk of going back to the inefficient and costly processes I’d just eliminated.

Create Personal ValueSo, I told them, "Instead of maintaining the status quo, here’s a better strategy to dealing with a changing environment: Add value." It’s the great capitalistic proposition.  If you can add value, you increase demand – demand for you.

Adding value isn’t a onetime thing. If you want to stay employed, rise through the ranks and increase your pay, you should always be looking for ways to increase your value to your company. For example, if you’re a sys admin, figure out a way to consolidate and deliver all of your server logs into a nice package that can be viewed once, without multiple logins into multiple systems. Do that, and you’ve just created value.

What do you do with the time you’ve saved? Find ways to create more value.

But it’s not enough just to create value. You need to let your boss know you’re doing it. On every fantastic time-saving or money-making change you make, keep him or her in the loop. When it comes time for belt tightening, you can breathe easier knowing you’re practically a profit center. And, you’ll stay gainfully employed while less valued employees are sent packing.

— Chad Broadus