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How To Unlock Your Personal Value Proposition

3 min read
Business

As a seasoned business strategist, I've made a career out of creating growth strategies that revolve around the business's value propositions. Now, I've come to adopt that strategic mindset when it comes to career advancement as well. How have I done that? Simply put: I remove the personal and strategize myself as I would a brand. I document short-term goals that balance my skills and my values. I hold myself accountable for growth in designated areas of my position outside of company-specific performance metrics. And I maintain a level of self-awareness and acceptance by analyzing my professional self as I would a potential target market. All of that professional strategic planning is used to create a roadmap to growth and, from there, advocate in a way that provides gains: financially, promotionally, and personally.

I challenge you to approach career advancement with a new mindset. Look at yourself as a brand and ask yourself: what is my value proposition?

Career advancement relies heavily on self-advocacy — and for me, having a firm grip on my professional value proposition is the key to successful self-advocacy. If you've written a business strategy or ever reviewed one, you already know that knowing your value proposition and how to position it is non-negotiable! That same goes for your career advancement strategy.

I challenge you to approach career advancement with a new mindset. Look at yourself as a brand and ask yourself: what is my value proposition?

First, what does "your professional value proposition" mean? Much like its strategic definition: an innovation, service, or feature intended to make a company or product attractive to customers. A professional value proposition is a cohesive collection of attributes you possess that make you unique to your profession and your position.

What should your value proposition entail?

Here are five elements to a successful value proposition:

Skill-set Specific

Because this is a professional value proposition, you guessed it! There has to be a skills-focus that is specific to your position. When we analyze our value proposition, it's important not to think too granular because it can limit our growth potential. Your skill-specific element of your value proposition should provide overall value while having easily identifiable attributes relating to your position.

Succinct

Nobody has time to listen to a 20-minute explanation as to why you're an important element of this project. It needs to be readily accessible and on the tip of your tongue. It also needs to be memorable. When trying to wrap your value proposition up in a succinct bow, think of this two ways. One: you should be able to articulate it quickly, elevator pitch style. And two: your actions should swiftly be able to showcase your value proposition. That way, your strategy is cohesive and recognizable from the outside in!

Transferable

You must be able to pass this knowledge on, or at least be willing and able to! Knowledge is power. If this value will forever be in the vault of Jennifer, no one will give a damn. But if you can articulate how your value proposition can be transferred in a ripple effect to other employees and make a lasting positive impact, you're golden!

Enjoyable

Yes, you read that right! You would be surprised at how many professionals talk to me about their value proposition with a lack of passion. Your value proposition should be something you are passionate about! This is your strategy, this is your career, you are in charge. Your value proposition shouldn't just be something you're good at, it should be something you care about. Remember: strategies are meant to leverage and multiply, so if what you have to offer isn't something you're all in on, we need to reevaluate.

Measurable (Hint: This is the most important aspect!)

Your value proposition must have measurable and tangible results. First, you want to be able to articulate how this can have an impact. Numbers speak the loudest, I can promise you that! In any business strategy that I've written and analyzed, I want the data. Also, going back to the original point, a strategy for career advancement built on a value proposition requires accountability for growth. Your value proposition must grow! You need to be able to gauge your impacts but also hold yourself accountable for growing your value proposition over time.

This is your strategy, this is your career, you are in charge. Your value proposition shouldn't just be something you're good at, it should be something you care about.

I challenge you to approach career advancement with a new mindset. Look at yourself as a brand and ask yourself: what is my value proposition? How does that directly impact my skill set? Can I articulate this in a brief but powerful way through my words and my actions? Is this something that can make a positive impact through the ripple effect? Do my value proposition and my passions align? And last, how is this measured? A strong value proposition, one that ignites your passions can position you for career advancement in a way that puts you in the driver's seat.

3 min read
Lifestyle

Help! My Friend Is a No Show

Email armchairpsychologist@swaaymedia.com to get the advice you need!

Help! My Friend Is a No Show

Dear Armchair Psychologist,

I have a friend who doesn't reply to my messages about meeting for dinner, etc. Although, last week I ran into her at a local restaurant of mine, it has always been awkward to be friends with her. Should I continue our friendship or discontinue it? We've been friends for a total four years and nothing has changed. I don't feel as comfortable with her as my other close friends, and I don't think I'll ever be able to reach that comfort zone in pure friendship.

-Sadsies

Dear Sadsies,

I am sorry to hear you've been neglected by your friend. You may already have the answer to your question, since you're evaluating the non-existing bond between yourself and your friend. However, I'll gladly affirm to you that a friendship that isn't reciprocated is not a good friendship.



I have had a similar situation with a friend whom I'd grown up with but who was also consistently a very negative person, a true Debby Downer. One day, I just had enough of her criticism and vitriol. I stopped making excuses for her and dumped her. It was a great decision and I haven't looked back. With that in mind, it could be possible that something has changed in your friend's life, but it's insignificant if she isn't responding to you. It's time to dump her and spend your energy where it's appreciated. Don't dwell on this friend. History is not enough to create a lasting bond, it only means just that—you and your friend have history—so let her be history!



- The Armchair Psychologist

Need more armchair psychologist in your life? Check out the last installment or emailarmchairpsychologist@swaaymedia.com to get some advice of your own!