Increasing Your Market Value

By Paula Santonocito

smw-increasing-your-market-valueYou’ve probably heard the expression “market value,” and you no doubt agree that in the current environment especially it’s smart to add value.

However, if you’re like a lot of single-minded women, you’re at a loss as to what exactly this means and what you should do.

Take Inventory

You can start by thinking of yourself as a business entity, regardless of your professional field. If you think of yourself in this way, while focusing on Brand You, it’s an easy leap to assessing what Corporation You offers.

To figure out your “products,” and where you need to improve or expand, you need to take inventory. In order to do this, you have to evaluate your assets.

It helps to think of these “goods or services” as what you bring to the marketplace.

Yes, in resume terms these are your skills and experience. However, when you try to look at yourself in this way, you sometimes get hung up on creating a document instead of assessing, really assessing, who you are.

Taking inventory means figuring out the product or products Corporation You offers.

For example, are you a top-notch financial professional who furthers the organization’s success by providing succinct insight into corporate expenditures? An award-winning advertising executive who provides creative solutions that increase client revenues, even in a competitive economic environment?

Possible Areas of Improvement

Not quite there yet?

Perhaps, instead, you’re a financial professional who provides accurate analysis so that someone else (your boss, for example) can shine. Or, maybe you’re an advertising exec who comes up with the occasional great idea that someone else (the owner of the agency) runs with, uses in PowerPoint presentations, and includes in her portfolio.

Get the idea?

The goal is to figure out what you bring to market now, how you can improve on those goods or services, and how you might expand on your current offerings.

Sometimes it’s a matter of simply upping your game. In other instances, it may require taking on new responsibilities in your current job or asking for cross-training within your department or company.

Take the advertising exec, for example. If she has fabulous design skills but tends to think in terms of two-dimensional images, she may want to work on adding a multimedia component to her repertoire.

How can she do this?

If there is someone in the agency who specializes in web design, video, audio or, better yet, a multimedia Web 2.0 guru, she would be wise to tap into this person’s knowledge. Another option is to register for a seminar or class that covers this subject area.

Once You Have the Goods

There are several reasons to increase or improve upon the goods or services you bring to the employment arena.

If you are employed, additional assets make you more of an asset to your current organization.

What happens if you take the necessary steps and recognition isn’t forthcoming?

In the case of the advertising exec, the agency or owner may still take credit for the employee’s work. Long term, this may not be ideal. However, short term, it will definitely contribute to job security.

With additional goods, you also have more to peddle when you hit the streets.

If you’re seeking a new job, you’ve got more to offer a prospective employer. Meanwhile, if you’re considering striking out on your own, you have more to offer potential clients.

Finally, increasing your market value has side benefits. It improves your self-esteem, and, in turn, gives you more confidence. A confident, single-minded woman is more likely to enjoy professional success, and success in other aspects of her life.

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