More personal and professional value can open doors to better jobs, relationships, opportunities, and overall fulfillment. I learned that increasing my self-worth would require honest self-reflection and focused effort toward developing my strengths and skills. But that it would also unlock compounded life-changing growth.
After feeling stuck in mediocrity, I devised a plan to substantially increase my value and make measurable progress. I researched and implemented eleven fundamental rules that have allowed me to gain specialized abilities, quality connections, valuable credentials, and diverse experiences. These efforts changed my trajectory.
Implementing a portion of the following value-enhancing guidelines can benefit anyone stuck in a career or life rut. Try a few and observe your growth accelerate. Here’s how you can boost your worth:
1. Identify Your Strengths and Specialize
I took self-assessments to home my natural abilities in creative marketing and digital advertising strategy. I also asked former managers for honest feedback on impactful examples of my work. I could gain expertise to become exceptionally valuable and stand out by determining these innate strengths.
For example, I honed my skills over 18 months by reading the latest marketing books, taking online classes, and spending extra hours refining campaigns. This specialization got me noticed and placed in high-level marketing meetings.
2. Add Skills That Are in Demand
I researched the marketing roles I aspired towards and saw data analysis, video production, and CMS platforms repeatedly mentioned. These were clearly in demand. I thus expanded my knowledge into those areas through LinkedIn Learning courses and volunteer side projects.
I became the go-to specialist when my company needed help analyzing campaign metrics. A unique blend of creative and analytical abilities increased my value and job flexibility.
3. Seek Out Mentors
I took lunch meetings and coffee breaks with directors and VPs to learn about their career journeys. Most were incredibly open about their path and offered books, podcasts, and general wisdom.
My mentor, Sheila, gave me the best and most challenging advice – to spend less time complaining about tedious tasks and more time understanding the scope and rightsizing my expectations. Her respectful candor and growth mindset reframed my early career outlook.
4. Build Your Network
Beyond senior leadership, I consciously nurtured lateral work relationships, collaborated cross-functionally, and grabbed happy hours with other departments. My genuine interest in their roles spawned referral bonuses and internal opportunities.
As an introvert, this networking was energy-depleting. But it grew my value through partnerships. My expanded scope led to bonuses and choice projects.
5. Gain Diverse Life Experiences
I pushed past my routine by traveling alone, volunteering for unfamiliar causes, and reading broadly. Though uncomfortable, this built self-confidence to input across domains.
Teaching English in Peru and helping construct houses after disasters gave me resilience and stories beyond PowerPoint decks. These came out naturally when brainstorming creative campaigns, illustrating my character’s depth.
6. Communicate Your Value
I repeatedly failed, assuming my Manager knew the expertise I developed and the assignments I sought after. It was night and day when I conveyed my skills and desires directly to hiring managers, 1-on-1s, and formally through digital portfolios.
The improved clarity got me on growth opportunities rather than feeling overlooked. My lesson – don’t stay quiet; communicate your values loudly and proudly.
7. Dress the Part
I invested in quality professional clothing that made me feel confident and credible. Dressing for the upward roles I wanted rather than the entry-level position I currently had was surprisingly helpful.
In meetings with the C-suite, I felt I belonged at the table more than ever before. And others conveyed the same through positive feedback on my leadership potential.
8. Volunteer Your Time
I helped struggling non-profits brand and optimize their web presence for free. This built my skills while also keeping me grounded through their inspirational work.
I discovered fulfillment in working with volunteer organizations vs. solely chasing workplace validation. My refreshed mentality increased creativity, patience, and purpose.
9. Be Reliable and Conscientious
I followed every commitment with detailed documentation, calendar reminders, and requests for confirmation. Responding rapidly and representing myself and the company dutifully built immense trust.
My dependability got me handpicked for the Executives’ priority projects. They knew I would overdeliver without cutting corners.
10. Add Credentials and Certifications
I earned certificates establishing proficiency in high-value skills like Google Analytics, SQL, and Project Management. These boosted my resume and quantified previous experience claims.
The HR department created an “Advanced Skills” program with pay bonuses for achieving Stackable micro-credentials. My initiative increased my income and marketability.
11. Keep Learning and Growing
I set learning objectives each quarter – a new coding language, writing techniques, and software versions. This continual betterment mindset reminded me every experience and person offered growth potential.
Constant development opportunities appeared around me. Consistently saying “yes” built my skills, resume, and sense of possibility faster than I imagined.
Implementing these eleven value accelerators over two years led to astounding change across all facets of life.
My specialized expertise, focus on high-ROI activities and amplified credibility resulted in 3 promotions and an industry award for Innovative Marketing Campaign of the Year. I became the “go-to marketing expert” executives relied on for crisis and priority campaigns, increasing my job security and freedom.
The expanded professional network led to consulting side gigs, mentorships, and valuable friendships. My roster of advocates willing to refer me for opportunities grew 10X.
My external value also increased exponentially. I positively impacted organizations through volunteering. My shiny resume attracted interview requests from aspirational companies and investment from start-ups.
Most meaningfully, following these value-enhancement rules nurtured a mindset of constant growth. This spiritual enrichment cannot be quantified by awards or income. An insatiable curiosity and fulfillment from lifelong learning continue to compound all dimensions of my life.
The effort was worth it!
Increasing self-worth requires honest self-assessment and concentrated effort toward strengths and demands. Implementing some of these eleven essential rules can set you on the value-accelerating path, unlocking exponential personal and professional growth.