What is your work worth?

Ana Herranz. Director. Alumni Carrers Services & Research. IE

30 September 2016

Identifying and conveying your professional worth is the key to making yourself look like Hermés rather than Primark. Which do you want to be?

The answer depends on whether anyone cares.

And if anyone is interested because it solves their problems.

And if your solution more than meets that person’s expectations, there’s no other professional who can compete, and it’s an urgent problem, your work is worth a lot. Basically you can name your price. Yesterday I had to call the locksmith and didn't even bother asking what he charged, because I was willing to pay any price to be able to enter my home.

If it turns out that there are many people who can do the same thing as you, and you’re in the free market, then your price drops. Of course, doing something that nobody else knows how to do is difficult but as you know, some products in the market are seen as high-end, and so they can charge more than others competing on the basis of price.

Obviously you do not want to compete in the market solely on price, in other words salary, instead you need to position yourself as an essential and scarce resource.

And how do you do that? Here are a few ideas for your consideration:

High-end products are not sold on the main markets, or in this case by applying for positions on LinkedIn or similar platforms. I'm not saying don't bother looking there, you can look at jobs that interest you, but you need to open up other channels.

Knocking on somebody’s door to sell something is not the same as someone calling you up to ask you to do something. If you are sought out you have much more bargaining power. Therefore must develop strategies that give you visibility, have an attractive profile and are optimized on LinkedIn can be a way to get people to come to us. And all content on social networks you can generate validates your knowledge and experience.

Another source of visibility is for people to recommend us, which takes us back to the importance of your contacts and your reputation, which you have to cultivate constantly.

The message you send out is absolutely crucial. Yesterday, reviewing the CV of a professional with 15 years’ experience in their field, I told them they were mixing up, and giving equal importance to, strategic projects with other purely tactical tasks. This made it difficult for people looking at the CV to distinguish between what was important and what was not, meaning the message was being lost. Identifying and communicating your professional value is key to moving from being Primark to Hermés.

Which do you want to be?

 

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