Remember your brilliance so others can reward you for it.
If you’ve ever heard yourself say any of the following, it gives us a sign you’ve forgotten some of the things that you’re really good at or you’ve forgotten some of the key pieces of your career and life journey.
If you ever think these things and then you don’t speak, you’ll know you’re undervaluing yourself or being undervalued or underselling yourself.
- “I want to be taken more seriously”
- “I’m often treated like a secretary rather than a director”
- “I end up undercutting myself – I give people a price for my services or the salary I want and then I undercut myself and backtrack or apologise”
Are you able to hear one or more things you’ve either said or thought in there? I can promise you I’ve heard these phrases so many times in different formats, in different ways and places. I know just like I’m sure you do, that it’s because that person saying those things doesn’t own or express the value, the importance, the difference that their work makes. So, by definition, other people don’t appreciate it, feel how they value it or how valuable it is. How they think about it is SO key. It also tells me that they don’t recognise it for themselves. And by definition, they don’t recognise or ‘market’ their worth. Aha.
Now, in general, we don’t like to think about marketing ourselves but, let’s be honest – you do need to be offering yourself and putting yourself forward in the workplace. Showing people what you’re about. So, try this.
If you want to think about it in a marketing sense, think about a four-bedroom house an estate agent is selling and one of the bedrooms is being used as a study. If you’re going to try sell the house, you have to turn that study-stylebedroom into a bedroom again because people will look at your house and value it as a three-bedroom house with a study rather than what it is that you’re truly offering which is a four-bedroom house.
They kind of know it on one level, but one of the bedrooms is a study and they’re not seeing it as a four-bedroom house. They have to see it. And an estate agent said to me, “Never underestimate how people need to be shown that fourth bedroom rather than have to imagine it or be told about it.”
It’s the same with you and me.
Never underestimate or assume people get how special and valuable what you do really is. They have to see it or experience it or have it shown to them. Clearly. Don’t assume they can see it for you. They rarely can.
Show them what you’re made of. Consider the impact of your work. Not your ‘To Do’ list.
You owe it to yourself. Why wouldn’t you maximise the opportunities which are so close sometimes you don’t see them? If you help others see your value, they help guide you towards the opportunities too.
My ex-colleague James saw my gifts more clearly than I did and guided me on to the path to where I am now. He asked if I’d heard of coaching back in 2005 when it was virtually unheard of here in the UK. He said I’d always been approachable, smart-thinking, curious and able to connect with people quickly. He guided me to take that first step to what I’m doing now. Pay attention to what people see for you. It’s often pure gold!