Share Your Worth At Work
It does matter how others, especially your work peers, perceive you and your work. In work situations we have our reputation and not much else. Brand perception is one of your greatest assets. Controlling your message through sharing your value at work, and avoiding common pitfalls and deception are critical. Capitalize on what you enjoy doing! Share your artful story with colleagues! Creating and keeping your brand takes effort.
Burden of Replacement
A close friend and colleague recently left her job as a grant professional after 10-years with the same municipality. Everyone agrees she did a great job and was well-respected for her grant skills, affable personality, and project management abilities. After she left, her old employer decided not to refill her position. This decision has left me wondering, “If I leave my position, will I be replaced, if not, why?” Over the last 15-years I have been responsible for a municipal grant program, which has been awarded more than $65M in federal, state, local government grants and private donations. Are there levels of indispensability? Is there a tipping point for value?
Value Beyond ROI
Two years earlier, David Broussard and I began asking questions about value. We co-authored a 2015 GPA Strategy Paper entitled “Measuring Value: Beyond ROI – the True Grant Professionals’ Worth” and presented the ROI calculator at the Southern Regional Grant Conference in Atlanta. The calculator takes into account many factors beyond just grant revenues. After more than a thousand downloads, and feedback from users nationwide, we are still searching for answers, download it, use it and share your value.
Make a Stand with Your Brand
Brand perception not deception is critical. There are an “uber-whelming” amount of books, blogs and posts on branding your business and yourself. It all boils down to “perception is reality”. Brand control, especially at work, can improve your value but, be careful not to deceive people, most folks can read through “sticky sweet” interactions and “self-promotion for self-sake”. Last year, I asked my colleagues about the legacy they wanted to leave behind. Surprisingly most folks had never thought about it and many probably haven’t thought about it since. Actively thinking about it… could lead you to your legacy.
Capitalize on what you enjoy doing! When I am having fun, work doesn’t feel like work. Some people are strong leaders. So step up! Others like to find the quirky patterns in the personalities of co-workers. They belong in Human Resources. I’ll hear my co-workers talking about a work project they are struggling with, and even if it isn’t grant related, I offer to pitch in and help. I really like being needed, especially if I can use my skills and experience.
Share your artful story with colleagues! Present your message in an interesting way. You are your greatest invention – your most involved project-in-progress. Just like an artist working in clay, your story is a beautiful piece of art, and you are the sculptor of the message.
Invest in You
Creating and keeping your brand takes effort! The grant profession is my brand. I write and present on work-related aspects of the profession, but it is not without effort. My 2012 JGPA article called “Grant Professionals: Profession Retention and Length of Services Rates” was inspired after an employee left for greener pastures. My workshop “Technology for Grant Professionals: Would you download it?” shared as many time-saving apps as I could fit into an hour! This year Heather Stombaugh and I co-wrote a JGPA article about the Grant Professionals Impact Survey results.
Are you listening at work? There are important messages about the organization’s future you don’t want to miss.