Technically curious

Jobseekers don’t underestimate your value

dog job comic

I have made this mistake repeatedly in my career of underestimating my value. Don’t you make this mistake too. Here are the signs you are underestimating yourself.

  1. Business cartoon about job search. Businessman dog answers that his best trait is that he digs for answers. His worst trait is that sometimes he buries them.

    You do more than one person’s work. Most responsible people step up to help out a company when someone leaves or they get sick. The problem is that many companies then don’t hire a second persona are doing two-person jobs. Or you join a growing company, and you start doing the work for more than one person. Or you are just a hard worker, and you don’t think of your own needs and you work until you get the work done. Again doing the work more than one person can/should do. If a company doesn’t pay you more because you are doing more, then it is time to leave.

  2. You are working before/after other people regularly work. If there is a short-term issue that is an emergency then of course you can make exceptions. However when you work somewhere and you are regularly contacted before/after regular work hours this also is abusive. You need a chance to relax and unwind and these issues don’t allow you to do this. You are not a robot and over time you will burn out.
  3. You do your manager’s work. Often managers will ask you to do something that is really their job to do. Then they present your work as their own. I have often done the work and then had managers present it as their own work. If you are doing the work of a manager, then you should get paid as a manager.
  4. Waiting for your company to match your payment to your new job title. I had a company that promoted me to the manager and said that I would see my salary adjusted. It wasn’t adjusted and when they had financial issues a few months later I was let go. If you are doing manager work and not getting paid for it, it is time to look for a new job.
  5. Mentoring and teaching your supervisor how to do their job. If you are mentoring and teaching your supervisor how to do their job, then you should be the manager. Many times people will teach people their job and then be let go. I have seen this done to many of my coworkers who were great at their jobs and everyone liked them. Having to skill up a supervisor is that supervisor’s responsibility, not yours. You can share your knowledge freely of course but if you have greater skills and intelligence, then leave and let that person figure it out.
  6. Having more people hired in your department to have the work you used to do alone. If you have been doing the work of more than one person, then it is fair for that company to pay you for that. You created a value for the company far above the salary you were being paid. It was your hard effort and dedication that helped the company prosper so why are not given the proper recognition?
  7. Your network. When you work in a job your network of professional and personal contacts adds a lot of value to a company. If a person posts on LinkedIn and has a following, then just employing them reaches out to their entire network. If they don’t have a good experience that too will hurt your company. Why would you ignore that who you hire and can’t keep says something about your company’s values and culture? I would never join a company that let go of someone that I believe to be a skilled and good employee. If they can’t make that company happy I am not going to waste my time trying.
  8. Your unique perspective. Everyone has a unique perspective and you can bring significant value just due to your experience and education. Don’t dismiss what seems obvious to you is not obvious to others. Companies need diversity and you are the person who can give it to them.
  9. Your ability to mold culture. You are not just a perspective but you have values, morals, and ethics that can improve the company that you work with. I know that I have challenged the ethics of companies by asking them to be kinder and more inclusive. Every day you are there you improve others’ lives with your actions and character. There is a crying lack of empathy and compassion in business. You can teach someone to fish, but you can’t teach them to care. You have to lead by example.
  10. The way you can learn and grow. We can help others grow and we can grow ourselves. When others feel useful and valued, they become better workers. You can value what others teach you and in that way increase the teamwork and efficiency of the group.

Don’t look at yourself as a dumb robot just filling out tasks. We are far more than we give ourselves credit for.

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