The meeting planning industry (which is where most of my employment background lies) is all abuzz about quantifying and benchmarking results to demonstrate positive returns on investments and showcasing the overall VALUE of the meeting or event being produced.
Why on earth wouldn’t you do the same for your own career?
Employers want to see value. Especially now, when bosses are squeezing out every penny that they can just to stay afloat. It’s almost like the words ‘return on investment’ are practically carved above the doorway over staff entering the office!
But when it comes down to managing the most important financial asset of the company, the thing that company leaders expect and demand the most from are the very people who do all the work. And employees that show that value and demonstrate profitability or innovation are the ones who are seen as the most indispensible.
Practically every industry sector has evolved during these rocky financial times to understand that passively executing job duties without showing how those activities met financial and mission-critical objectives is a thing of the past. It’s now time that each and every one of us takes that same kind of accountability and incorporates it into our own careers.
The résumé of old where you simply dumped your job descriptions into the work experience section simply isn’t going to cut it anymore. Understanding what your contribution has been and how it fits into the bigger picture is now ‘in.’
Time for a wake-up call for each and every one of us: The very principles of benchmarking company results / performance are the same ones that every professional should apply towards their own career management.
In short: People who are hiring want to know what you contributed and how that helped your previous or current employer.
Or, if it comes down to trimming staff levels, who do you think a business might keep – the employee who just trundled along day by day, or the one who kept a dynamic record of their positive contributions to the company?
Are you awake now????
If this article is striking fear in your heart that you haven’t kept good track of your contributions… then good. It’s served the purpose for which it was intended. Most people don’t do a good job on this area, so you aren’t alone. But if you want to show your value and do better either within your current employer or find a new position another company, you need to transfer company benchmarking and performance to goal into strategic career management… and show RESULTS.
One challenge that I present to my clients is to put the shoe on the other foot and see the entirety of your career like an employer would.
What have been your biggest ‘wins’?
Have you overcome a difficult situation? Seamlessly pulled off a last-minute event that left your attendees raving about such a great experience? Did you mastermind a major cost-savings that put more money into your company’s wallet?
It’s pretty fair to say that most for-profit companies care about whether you made money, saved money, or saved time. With a non-profit? Usually the benchmarks are: Did you increase exposure? Outreach? Members? Or funding?
Taking these principles of results quantification and outcomes, then applying them to yourself to demonstrate your contribution will make you more career-focused as well as a more finely-tuned and highly productive worker.
Your next job, promotion, or salary increase could depend on it.