How To Define Your Value Proposition

Define Your Value Proposition

How To Define Your Value Proposition

Your ability to define your value proposition can set you apart in your current role or in your career search.  In short, your value proposition is what are you worth to an employer?   The answer is most likely entirely different than your annual wage.  Instead think about the value you add to your employer.

If you are an employee for someone else, you should constantly be tracking your success and defining the value you bring to your employer.  Strategically demonstrating your value could help your boss justify your role and could also lead to your next promotion.

Defining your value is also a major step in preparing to find your next job.

How To Define Your Value Proposition

As you start to define your value proposition, think about your experience and your successes.  Remember, your value is determined by what you do for the company.  You either make money, save money, or reduce/manage/eliminate risk.

The key is to quantify your results.  The better you can demonstrate your ability to contribute to the bottom line, the better your value proposition will be.

If you are in sales, your value proposition might be the profitability on the annual total of your sales.  An operations employee might re-design a process that saves time during production. The old saying “Time is money” is true.  Efficiency gains translate into cost savings through a reduction of labor.

Value Proposition Example

As an example of how to define your value proposition, let’s pretend you are in sales.  You sell computerized industrial equipment at a cost of $300,000 per machine.

You rarely discount your sales price and maintain a margin of 20% for the company.  On each sale you make, the company makes $60,000.

Don’t stop there though… You sell 30 machines per year totaling $9 million.  Given the 20% margin, your net contribution to your employer is $1.8 million!

Now you’re getting the idea, but go one step further and assume you will work for this company for 7 years and sell 30 machines every year.  Your total sales in those 7 years is 210 units at $300,000 each.

In that period, you will bring $63,000,000 in revenue to your employer.  With the 20% margin you hold, you will add $12,600,000 in profit over 7 years.

The total revenue and profit is your quantified value proposition.

Promoting Your Value

After you define your value proposition, you need to promote yourself.  Do this strategically with humility and grace and you will always be able to justify your employment.  In a job search campaign, you want to promote your value proposition to stand out from the crowd.

The tools you will use are your sales brochures (aka: resume and LinkedIn Profile), your success stories and your networking strategy.

Based on our example above, write your resume and LinkedIn profile as if you are promoting a multi-million-dollar product.  In fact, this is exactly what you are doing because of your multi-million-dollar value proposition.

Develop a series of “3C Stories” that illustrate and quantify your success and further demonstrate your value.

Use your resume and 3C Stories during your networking meetings.

Create a networking strategy to leverage your value proposition to find opportunities with your current or prospective employees.

Putting it all together

When you clearly define your value proposition and articulate it through your strategic networking plan with memorable 3C stories, you will separate yourself from your peers and other job candidates.

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Your Attitude Can Persuade Your Potential Employer

Your Attitude Can Persuade Your Potential

Employer

Your attitude can persuade your potential employer and be used as an asset.  In 2012 Dave Sanford Executive Vice President, Client Relations at Winter, Wyman posted this in an article “… a great attitude can make you stand out from all the candidates for a job opening. If you want to impress your potential employer, think carefully about the possible things going on in his or her work life that cause stress and anxiety. Talk about how you can go into that job and make things easier and better for the manager. Think, “I’m here to lighten your burden and load.”

How Can You Help?

During an interview, take the approach that you are there to help.  The hiring manager is interested in how you can fill the role, solve problems and add value to the company.  Ask questions during the interview about the need that exists within the company.  You can then apply your skills and experience to demonstrate how you can successfully fill that need.

Sanford writes, “Accentuate your value at all times. Talk about demonstrated skill sets, not just, “I’m a good guy.” Instead, “I’m a good manager of people, I’m a good problem solver, I’ve been ahead of quota every year.” And in talking about past jobs, never criticize anything or anyone…Your attitude and story need to always come across with positivity and confidence.”

Persuade Your Potential Employer

Employers want to know how you can add value.  Show the interviewer that you are there to help them.  Draw from your experience with interview stories about how you can either make or save the company money.  Quantify everything from your experience and resume.  Can you create efficiency within the company?  Translate those efficiencies into a dollar value and provide examples of how you’ve been successful in the past. Use data and facts to persuade your potential employer that you are the best candidate.

Affirmations

Dave Sanford also gives some good advice in his article about keeping your attitude positive with your thoughts and gives examples of affirmations you can repeat to yourself.

  • “Give me the ball; I don’t have to have my hand held.”
  • “I’m an awesome team player; not a lone wolf.”
  • “I take initiative.”
  • “I am fiercely loyal; I run through walls to get the job done.”

Create your own affirmations to stay positive throughout your job search.  Create your interview stories in advance.  Do your homework about the company and research the interviewer.  Preparation builds confidence which will also show through.  Stay positive and use your attitude to persuade your potential employer.

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Habits That Build Happiness

Habits That Build Happiness

Habits That Build Happiness

Happiness and attitude are often a matter of mindset and we can impact our own outlook by incorporating daily habits that build happiness.  Things that we dwell on or think about each day can either be uplifting or depressing.

11 Habits That Build Happiness

Here’s a quick list to help you create a more positive attitude and to be happier.

  • Listen to good music. Music improves your mood and is a simple thing to do. Find songs that not only have a high energy beat, but also have uplifting lyrics as well. The words in songs can be a powerful force in your daily moods. I enjoy all kinds of music from classic rock and heavy metal to classical, country and contemporary Christian music.  I used to listen to classic country music almost non-stop, but found that I started to feel depressed.  Be aware of how certain songs or lyrics make you feel.
  • Don’t watch television passively or at all.
  • Be aware of negativity. Negative thoughts and feelings drain your energy. Keep an journal and work to replace your negative thoughts.
  • Make time to be alone. Sit quietly in your favorite room, in nature, or anywhere that you can be alone for at least five minutes. Allow yourself to relax and unplug. Breathe freely and enjoy the moment.
  • Take some time to figure out who you are or who you want to be. Allow your mind to rest so that you can be creative and think about your goals. Turn off your electronic devices and take some time without interruption or outside input.
  • Exercise daily. Even a short walk will improve your mood.
  • Have projects and goals to work toward. Learn a new skill or set a goal related to one of your hobbies. Make a list of 100 goals that you would like to achieve.  The goals can be large or small because it is your list.  Start working on the list today.  Some goals may be achievable today or this week.  Other goals give you something to look forward to and work towards.
  • Do the things you enjoy doing. Do you like to paint or do wood working? Read a book by your favorite author, go for a walk or volunteer with your favorite non-profit.
  • Ignore things that don’t make you happy. Dwelling on the negative will only create more negative thoughts and feelings.
  • Just smile. Smiling will bring on a happy feeling, so even when you don’t feel like it, do it.
  • Focus on gratitude. This may seem simple, but it really works. Make a list of all of the things for which you are thankful and read it each day.  Add new items to your list as you think of more things to be thankful for.

You Are In Control

Cultivating happiness is one way to build your positive outlook. Take control of your attitude and your future by developing daily habits that build happiness.  Implement these tasks into your daily routine and allow them to recharge your emotional batteries.

How are you investing in yourself and your happiness each day?  Please leave a comment below that describes your daily habits that build happiness.

 

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Picture Yourself Achieving Your Goals and Attracting Success

Picture Yourself Achieving Your Goals

Picture Yourself Achieving Your Goals and Attracting Success            

Picture yourself achieving your goals and attracting success.  You can use your thoughts to achieve your goals and attract the success you want.

“Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” ― C.G. Jung

Everything Is Created Twice

In “The Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People”, Steven Covey writes that everything is created twice. First we create visions in our minds and then we can create those things in reality.  The key is to visualize the things that you want to happen and to see yourself being successful.

Keeping your attitude positive, even in difficult times, is crucial to succeeding. Here are six ways you can use positive thoughts picture yourself achieving your goals.

  1. Picture yourself achieving the success you are after. Include as much detail as possible. Think about what it will feel like when you achieve your goal. Where will you be, what are you wearing?  Visualizing your future success in great detail allows the power of your mind to propel you toward your goal.  These mental images can help shape your behavior so that your actions help you achieve what you want.
  2. Be thankful. Acknowledge three or four things you are grateful for each day. Embrace the day with the goal of being thankful. Picture in your mind how you would be grateful for your success.
  3. Have a plan. Schedule each day in advance. A plan helps you see where you are going and make changes accordingly. Visualize how the events of the day unfolding with the results you desire.
  4. Take time to meditate or spend time in nature. Silence the noise that is around you. Sit quietly with your thoughts, removing negative noise. Take time to see yourself achieving your goals.
  5. Surround yourself with positive influences and people. Associating with positive people rubs off on you. See yourself being positive and kind.
  6. Be enthusiastic and excited in your daily activities. Enthusiasm is contagious. It draws others to you. Force it when you don’t feel enthusiastic. Picture yourself being happy and excited.

Begin With The End In Mind

Stephen Covey also writes that we should “begin with the end in mind”.

Use your mind’s creative visualization ability to picture yourself achieving your goals. Visualize where you want to be and set your goals to get there.

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How To Cultivate A Positive Attitude

How To Cultivate A Positive Attitude

Top Tips to Cultivate a Positive Attitude

Anyone can cultivate a positive attitude.  Our attitude and even how we feel starts with our thoughts.  Youcan change our attitude by changing your thoughts.  Changing the way you think will change the way you feel.  When you feel better, you will behave differently.  You will learn to see opportunities instead of obstacles.  It isn’t easy, but you really can change your thoughts to change your future.

Here are the top tips to help you cultivate a positive attitude:

  1. Do NOT complain. Complaining is a very negative response to any situation that drains you of energy.
  2. Express gratitude every day, even for the small things. Eventually you will become grateful for everything.
  3. Keep a list of things you have accomplished.
  4. Let go of the people around you who are negative, critical, and abusive of you. They drain your energy. Instead, surround yourself with supportive, positive people.
  5. Help others. Volunteer occasionally.
  6. Learn to meditate daily. Even a 10-minute meditation first thing in the morning will help you start your day on a positive thought.
  7. Let go of envy. Envy is a very negative emotion. It eats at you, pointing to the faults we see in ourselves.
  8. Be kind and smile at others.
  9. Choose to be happy. Happiness is a choice. When a negative thought enters your mind, push it out quickly. Substitute a happy thought.
  10. Have faith in yourself.
  11. Read inspiring stories and watch inspirational movies or television shows.
  12. Repeat inspiring and motivating affirmations.
  13. Practice mastering your thoughts with thought replacement
  14. Visualize what you want to happen. Release the thoughts you don’t want to happen.

You can cultivate a positive attitude with conscious thought. Be aware of your thoughts and the attitudes of those around you. Once you are aware of the negative thoughts in your environment, you’ll be able to counteract them more quickly and replace them with positive thoughts

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Use The Power Of The Subconscious Mind

Use The Power of The Subconscious

Use The Power Of The Subconscious Mind

Now that you’ve learned how to rid yourself of the negative thoughts and build a positive outlook, you are ready to use the power of the subconscious mind. The subconscious mind is the storehouse that holds your memories, past experiences, your deepest beliefs, and everything that has ever happened to you.

It’s where automatic functions take place, like driving a car and carrying on a conversation at the same time. You instinctively know how to drive so you can focus on your conversation.

The subconscious mind is much more powerful than your conscious mind. It makes everything you say and do a part of your self-concept. That’s why it’s important what goes into it. To change your outlook you have to go deeper than your conscious thoughts. The good news is that the subconscious mind learns through repetition.

Go deeper in your subconscious mind.

  • Repeat your new beliefs or thought patterns every day. Repeat inspiring words. Choose affirmations like, “I love and respect myself.” or “I attract good things into my life.” Feed your subconscious mind only with what you desire. Create affirmations that related to your life and goals
  • Meditation allows you to go deeper into your consciousness, slowing the brain pattern down to release stress, anger, anxiety, and even alertness. With practice, you can become an observer of your thoughts. Simply allow your thoughts to flow, not reacting to any of them in any way.
  • Let your creative side loose. Get creative and take up some form of artistic expression like painting or drawing, sculpture or decorating. Nurturing your creativity helps you to become more authentic and tune in to your subconscious self.
  • Trust your instincts. Your intuition is your connection to your subconscious mind. This is your gut feeling. Positive people have a strong sense of intuition.

Affirmations And The Subconscious

Using affirmations and thought replacement every day, will plant those positive seeds into your subconscious mind.  This is where they will grow and become the foundation of your achievements.  Your subconscious mind holds the thoughts that will become your reality.

Remember this connection between your subconscious mind, thoughts and actions:

Your thoughts control your feelings.  Your feelings control your actions.  Your actions control your habits.  Your habits become your results and your reality.

Use the power of the subconscious mind to replace your thoughts and realize the results you want for your life.

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How To Beat Negative Thoughts

Beat Negative Thoughts

How To Beat Negative Thoughts

Successful job searches and interviews often require you to beat negative thoughts.  You need to be confident, but doubt often creeps into our minds.  A positive attitude is one of the stepping-stones to success. Everyone has a negative thought occasionally but you can beat negative thoughts by replacing them with positive thoughts or affirmations.  Countless studies have been done on athletes, astronauts and people like you and me.  Research shows that we can replace our negative thoughts by focusing on a positive thought. Psychologists call this “Cognitive Therapy.  Here are a few steps to beat negative thoughts and be sure you are at your best during your job search campaign:

Steps To Beat Negative Thoughts

Become aware of your thoughts.

The first step to taking control of your thinking is to become aware of your thoughts.  Often there are just a few negative thoughts that cause us to feel defeated.  Unfortunately, we repeat those negative thoughts hundreds or thousands of times each day.  Frequently ask yourself, “What am I thinking right now?” Learn to recognize your negative thinking patterns so that you can replace them with positive affirmations

Keep a Journal

As you start to become aware of your negative thoughts, write them in a journal.  Carry a small notebook with you everywhere you go or make a note in your smart phone.  Negative thoughts can occur at any moment and you need to make a note right away so you will remember them later.

After you have listed some of your negative thoughts, create a journal entry with positive affirmations to replace the negativity.  When a negative thought enters your mind, immediately replace with one of the positive thoughts you have written.

Examples of Thought Replacement

Negative thought: “I’m not qualified for that job and will never get the interview”

Positive thought change:  “I have experience with every part of the job description and am a great candidate for this job.”

Negative thought: “I hate doing job interviews”

Positive thought change: “I prepare for job interviews and am confident and calm.  Job interviews are two-sided and a great way to determine if I would like to work for the company.”

Plant Good Seeds

Thoughts are like seed.  Over timey, they will grow and we will reap the benefits of our thoughts.  Planting the seeds of positive thinking leads to a feeling of confidence and well-being.  Negative thoughts are like weeds that can overrun the way we feel.  Continuously planting positive thoughts by reading, saying and thinking positive affirmations will leave little room in your mind for negative thoughts.

Read inspirational, positive quotes and articles. Read about the lives of successful and happy people.  Do things you love. Do at least one that you enjoy doing every day. Visualize your life, as you want it to be. Create a visual map. When negative thoughts intrude, look at your map to remind you of what you want.

In the end, everyone has a negative thought occasionally. The trick is to recognize and replace them with positive thoughts immediately so you don’t dwell on the negative thoughts. Plant the seeds of positive thinking and beat negative thoughts for a successful job search campaign.  You will see the results in every area of your life.

 

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Positive Thinking Is Connected To Success

Positive Thinking Is Connected To Success

How The Power of Positive Thinking Is Connected To Success

The power of positive thinking is connected to success and you owe it to yourself to understand this connection.  Positive thinking increases your confidence and opens your eyes to opportunity.  A high level of self – confidence and the ability to spot opportunities are both important during a job search campaign.

“Positive thinking is expecting, talking, believing, and visualizing what you want to achieve. It is seeing what you want, as an accomplished fact.” ~ Remez Sasson

Nearly all successful people have a positive “can-do” attitude.  They use this power of positive thinking to help them succeed.

Your outlook is what your perception of success (or failure) looks like. It has a big impact on your success. The good news is that if you have a negative mindset, you can change it and your attitude to be more positive.

Here are seven ways positive thinking is connected to success:

  1. Positive thinking is proven to help with problem solving. People who think positively are better able to learn new information. This improves your perspective and enables you to tackle problems and obstacles as they happen.
  2. Positive thoughts promote and enhance your energy level. When you are in a good mood, you tend to laugh more, which boosts your endorphins and your energy level.
  3. Positive thinking helps to give you control by giving you confidence about yourself, your abilities, and situations. Successful people control their thought process, turning a negative pattern into a positive pattern as the need arises.
  4. A positive attitude attracts other positive people to you. Successful people often have a large circle of friends and acquaintances. The larger your network, the more doors of opportunity will be opened to you.
  5. Positive thinkers are more likely to set goals and follow through by taking action, which also happens to be one of the keys to success – setting goals and following through.
  6. Positive thinking improves your decision-making ability by opening your mind to broad thinking and creative solutions.  Negative thoughts close your mind and narrow your thought process. Successful people are often open-minded, forward thinkers who make good decisions and are good problem solvers.
  7. A positive outlook builds resilience. Successful people often face many failures and mistakes before they succeed. Those with a positive attitude are more resilient and recover quicker when they do fail.

You Have To Take Action

Success is more than positive thinking. It requires positive action as well. Positive thinking is connected to success but you have to follow up by taking positive actions. Be creative during your career search and allow positive thinking to guide you to new opportunities.

Here is another post to help you learn more about how positive thinking is connected to success:

Is Negativity Sabotaging Your Job Search?

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Secrets To Time Management And Productivity

Secrets To Time Management And Productivity

Secrets To Time Management And Productivity

Are there really secrets to time management and productivity or have we heard them all before?  We often know what to do, but just need to execute.  Everyone has the same 24-hour day to dream, determine goals, and complete tasks that will help them meet those goals. You may only need this information as a reminder, but here are some secrets to time management and productivity make you feel like you have hours more in your day.

Set Priorities – There are only four choices:

  1. Most important
  2. Most urgent
  3. Least important
  4. Least urgent

Identify tasks and set your priorities carefully by what is important over not important.  Avoid having issues of urgency each day and you can get a handle on your time in ways that you never thought possible.

Schedule Everything – Your priorities need to be added to your calendar. Everything from the 15 minutes you need to use social media to the one hour you take your kids to the park, needs to be put into your calendar. If you have a project due in a week, you should have five days of scheduled time to work on the project prior to the due date.

Improve Your Focus

Check Your Schedule – At the beginning and end of each day, block time to check your schedule. Ensure that you have your priorities in order, add anything new to your schedule that needs to be added, and remind yourself of what is expected the next day. Checking your schedule helps you feel accomplished at the end of the day, and reminds you of what’s coming up tomorrow.

Learn the Power of “No” –If something is not right for you, is too “urgent”, causes you stress, or you just do not want to do it and it doesn’t fit in with meeting your goals, say no.

Disconnect from Technology – Unplug the phone, turn off email notifications, and get off Facebook. If you’ve not completed the most important tasks on your daily list, you have no business messing around with technology. Unplug and tune in to the tasks at hand. You’ll work faster, smarter, and gain the time you need for other things.

Ignore Interruptions – Check your email at scheduled times during the day.  Work through your task list.  If you work from home, explain to your children, spouse and family when you are working, and otherwise ignore the door bell ringing. If you didn’t schedule it, you don’t need it.

Work Smarter

Outsource – Whether it’s the housework, cooking, or customer service, it’s important to outsource what you can afford to outsource. There are huge payoffs to outsourcing the things that are simply time suckers from your day. If you can’t afford to outsource, your kitchen will not explode if a few dishes pile up, and everyone can do with eating a salad for dinner.

Once and You’re Done – Multitasking is not really a bastion of efficiency.  Instead, seek to touch each task only once and finish it.

Finally, it’s important to be serious about following your schedule and calendar. Use technology to help such as Google Calendar or Outlook, synced to your smartphone to help you remember what it is that you should be doing now, and next. It may seem restrictive if you’re not used to working from a schedule but it’s this one factor that makes these surprising time management tips work.

Leave a comment below:  What secrets to time management and productivity can you share?

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Setting Priorities For Managing Your Time

Photo by Mike Petrucci on Unsplash

Setting Priorities For Managing Your Time

One of the hardest parts about looking for a job is setting priorities for managing your time.  Sometimes it can feel like every last thing you need to do is an emergency. But the truth is, there are ways to organize your time and manage the tasks that you need to do so that you get them finished right when they need to be done without feeling overwhelmed or rushed.

Thankfully Stephen Covey’s time management grid is here to save us from ourselves. Covey writes about the grid in his classic book, “The Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People”.  It looks like this:

Stephen Covey Time Management Grid

The way you use the grid is to designate each item on your to-do list to a colored square. Instead of quadrants like Mr. Covey’ has assigned, they are different colors here.

Purple: Needs to be done immediately (Quadrant 1)

Green: Needs to be done but can take longer and needs more strategic planning          (Quadrant 2)

Pink: Distractions, but needed by others (Quadrant 3)

Light green: Not at all important and often used in order to procrastinate (Quadrant 4)

Use the grid to set priorities for managing your time.  It will help you create your daily to-do list by prioritizing the importance and urgency of each item you have to pick from. It can be as simple as doing the purple things first, then the green, next pink, and finally the light green items. But, if you do it this way you might miss out on something important you can learn from the time management grid.

Eliminate Urgency from Your Life

By focusing on green you can eventually lessen the purple items on your list. By learning to say no to others you can virtually eliminate the pink things, too. Finally, by getting your schedule under control the light green will eliminate itself because you won’t feel the need to procrastinate anymore.

Learn to Say No

As children we are taught to not say no. Unfortunately, this transfers over to adulthood in a bad way.  If you determine something is in the pink or light green area, you can use that to determine whether or not you should say no. By saying no and focusing on eliminating urgency, you can begin focusing on the items that are important buy not urgent.  These will be the tasks that will propel you to your long term goals.

Assess Your Time Expenditures Now

Now that you have Dr. Covey’s time management chart, you can go back and re-evaluate the things you are currently doing each day to find out what color they are. Knowing their color will help you label each thing that you do throughout the days, weeks and months ahead so that you can prioritize them.

Finally, when you are assessing any task, make sure you label it, then ask yourself if it fits in with your core values and goals. If it does, it’s going to be in either the purple square or the green square. If it doesn’t, it’s probably in one of the other squares. As you learn to use this system setting priorities for managing your time will start to become automatic.  You will be able to say yes or no faster and put your time management on auto pilot

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