During my monthly webinars, I often hear a handful of the same questions. A common one goes something like this: “The people I work with think my job is inferior. They look down on me (and my role). How do I get others to value my work more?”
This question hits particularly close to home for administrative professionals. As a proud former admin myself, I know what it’s like to feel that your work isn’t valued. I feel strongly that, regardless of role, everyone should be treated with respect at work. But when it comes to getting others to really value your contributions, that’s a different story. If you want others to value your work—to see it as important and necessary—it really starts with YOU. Below, you’ll find 3 simple strategies to help get others to see the true value of the role you play at work.
1. Value Yourself First
It should go without saying that, if you want people to value your work, YOU have to value your work. You have to believe whole-heartedly that your work is, indeed, valuable—and I’m not talking about this in some abstract sense. I’m talking about getting concrete.
You should be able to clearly define exactly how your work contributes measurable impact. If you aren’t already comfortable with this, spend some time looking at your responsibilities and asking yourself: Why does this matter? What positive effect does this task have on my team and my organization? What results am I achieving?
This can be a very powerful exercise. In my experience, when people fully understand their own value, they exude a much higher level of confidence in all that they do, and others naturally respond to this.
Recommended Reading: 6 Ways to Add Value to Your Organization & Advance Your Career
2. Speak Up
Once you are crystal clear on your value, you have to share it with the world! Become a vocal advocate for yourself and your role. All too of often, I hear admins say, “No one knows what I do all day!”
My response: “Whose fault is that?”
YOURS! You have the power to educate people—and really, you should treat it as an obligation (to yourself).
If people don’t know what you do, they can’t value what you do.
Share your accomplishments with others. Talk up your projects. Politely but assertively correct people if they misunderstand what your job is all about.
I realize this can be difficult. That’s why my newest book contains an entire chapter on how to comfortably and confidently promote your accomplishments. If this is an area where you struggle, grab a copy of The Invisibility Cure and pay close attention to chapter 5.
3. Go Where You ARE Valued
Let’s face it: There are some toxic work environments where certain groups of employees are simply not valued. It’s embedded in the culture, and changing it can be an arduous task. I’m not saying you can’t change it; perhaps you can! And it’s noble to try! But it can take a lot of time and energy to shift perceptions that are deeply engrained, and you may not be up for that.
It’s perfectly okay to “opt out” of environments like this. You always have the freedom to find a new job, at a new organization, where your work is valued from the start. I realize it’s not always easy to make this decision; I’m not making light of it. But I always want people to know that they have a choice in the matter. You don’t have to stay somewhere that isn’t treating you well.
Everyone wants to feel that their work is valued by others. It’s a natural component of finding fulfillment at work. If others don’t currently value what you do, you’re not alone. As I said, this question comes up frequently. But you’re also not powerless. Take the steps outlined here and improve the situation!