Valuing the Work you Do: Considerations for Seeking a Promotion and Raise


By Kelly A. Hadsell
Managing Editor, Journal of Medical Regulation
LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/kelly-hadsell
X: @kellyhadsell

Take Home Points:

  • Understanding your value in the workplace is a vital career move.
  • Professional development and networking can increase visibility and opportunities for recognition, enhancing your professional credibility and expertise.
  • Assertive communication and negotiation are key in advocating your value to your employer.

For a business to succeed, it must recruit, hire, and retain talented individuals who bring value to the organization. The more value one brings to their job, the more valuable they are to their employer.

 

In the dynamic landscape of modern work environments, the concept of valuing one’s work extends beyond financial compensation. It can also encompass recognition, professional growth, and a sense of fulfillment derived from meaningful contributions. Whether you are a job seeker searching for a new role, an employee seeking advancement within a company, or an independent contractor navigating project-based engagements, understanding how to effectively value and advocate for your work is crucial. Valuing your work encompasses maintaining a healthy work-life balance and prioritizing wellbeing. Recognizing the importance of your contributions should not come at the expense of burnout or sacrificing personal time. Setting boundaries, practicing self-care, and seeking mentorship or professional-support networks can sustain long-term career satisfaction and success.

 

Understanding or promoting your value in the workplace isn’t boasting; rather, it’s a vital career move. Especially in a hybrid or remote team, workplace humility can have a negative impact on your career. But don’t worry. If being a showoff or braggart isn’t your style, there are ways to demonstrate your merits authentically and constructively. 

 

Valuing your work begins with self-assessment and confidence in your abilities. Recognizing your strengths, skills, and unique contributions lays the foundation for asserting your value in any professional context. It is essential to maintain a clear understanding of the impact of your work, both quantitatively and qualitatively. Documenting achievements, successful projects, and positive feedback can provide concrete evidence of your value to employers or clients. One way to do this is to keep a running log about your day-to-day successes (no matter how small) to share with your manager. Be sure to connect your successes to the larger goals of your employer. For example:

 

  • How does my work advance team goals?
  • What have I contributed to the organization?
  • What was my role in successful projects?
  • Which of my projects and/or tasks have had the most impact?

 

When you provide regular progress updates, it makes your manager more effective in helping you achieve your career goals and representing your team to organizational leadership. Ask your manager how they’d like to be updated about your accomplishments. Be sure to leverage opportunities in 1:1 meetings and performance reviews to talk about your value and career goals.

 

Professional development should be a priority. Networking within your industry and actively participating in relevant communities can also increase visibility and opportunities for recognition. This can be achieved by utilizing platforms such as LinkedIn or joining a professional organization such as the Council of Science Editors (CSE), International Society of Managing and Technical Editors (ISMTE), or Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP), for example. You can participate in many ways based on your availability and interest. Some examples include volunteering for a committee, presenting at a conference, or serving as a mentor to others. A recent ORIGINal Thoughts post by Jennifer Mahar highlights the importance of volunteering as a part of professional development and giving back to the education and scholarly publishing communities. Creating a portfolio or detailed resume that highlights key projects and outcomes also reinforces your credibility and expertise.

 

In addition to individual actions, organizational culture plays a significant role in how work is valued. Companies that prioritize transparency, meritocracy, and professional development tend to foster environments where employees feel empowered to seek advancement and negotiate fairly. A LinkedIn post from Gerhard Diel provides more information on how cultivating a transparent and meritorious workplace benefits both employees and employers. For contractors, cultivating relationships based on trust and mutual respect with clients can lead to ongoing partnerships and referrals.

 

Understanding one’s professional value can help an individual to feel empowered to seek advancement or negotiate compensation. Prior to reaching out to your manager to discuss advancement or compensation, there are a few important steps to consider. These are a combination of mindset, preparation, and strategic action.

 

  • Do your homework: Gather information about typical salaries, job responsibilities, and industry standards for the position you seek or the compensation you believe you deserve.  This will allow you to negotiate from an informed and confident position. Some resources that can help include Indeed, ZipRecruiter, or Salary.com
  • Build Your Case: Document your achievements, skills, and contributions to the organization. Quantify results wherever possible to demonstrate your impact. This data will bolster your negotiating position.
  • Practice Assertiveness: Practice communicating assertively, both verbally and non-verbally. Use confident body language, maintain eye contact, and speak clearly when discussing your goals and achievements. The Better Up blog post titled “How to become more assertive in work and life (your ultimate guide)” provides some great tips on how to work on being more assertive.
  • Seek Feedback: Ask trusted colleagues or mentors for feedback on your performance and readiness for advancement. Their insights can help you refine your approach.
  • Anticipate Objections and Prepare Responses: Consider potential objections or concerns your employer might raise during negotiations. Prepare thoughtful responses to address these concerns and reinforce your value.
  • Role-play Negotiations: Practice negotiating with a friend or mentor to gain confidence and refine your approach. Role-playing allows you to anticipate different scenarios and adapt your strategy accordingly.
  • Be Willing to Walk Away: While negotiating, be prepared to stand firm on your goals and be ready to walk away if the offer does not meet your expectations. This mindset shows that you value yourself and your contributions.
  • Stay Positive and Persistent: Rejection or initial setbacks are common in the negotiation process. Stay positive, learn from each experience, and persist in pursuing your goals.

 

Resources to consult for other tips on negotiating advancement or compensation include this LinkedIn post and this Harvard Business School Online blog post.

 

Valuing your work involves a multi-pronged approach that blends self-awareness, strategic communication, and proactive career management. Whether you are working as an employee or as an independent contractor, it is critical to understand your worth and to advocate for it. Ultimately, the journey of valuing one’s work is not just about financial reward but about realizing and maximizing personal and professional potential in a fulfilling manner.

Conflicts of Interest:
None to disclose

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