My book, Career Success in 12 Easy Steps: A Journal, offers a step-by-step approach to creating a successful life at work, in a career, and beyond. Laying out the steps to achieving goals makes the journey manageable. A topic that comes up frequently for me—and likely for you—is identifying and conveying the value that our work, our products, our services, our offerings provide. In business terms, that translates to a value proposition—the savings in time and cost, the improvements that result, the ability of our client to succeed, and more. A value proposition lets our clients and others know that we understand them and that we have goods—in every sense of the word—that are different from and better than those of others.
This takes me to my 12-step process—Step 3: Own Your Competencies. After all, our competencies are integral to the value we provide clients, employers, employees, colleagues, and just about anyone with whom we interact. Our competencies include our knowledge, abilities, talents, skills, and gifts that add up to our strengths. They become the differentiators that make each of us and our offerings unique.
In Step 3, you meet Paul Player, a very competent poker player who is learning that his ability to think positively, make strategic and tactical decisions, see below the surface, and work and play well with others—learned from playing poker—are strengths that add value to his goods. If Paul were to teach a course, it would be about poker, including the decision-making abilities and people skills he has learned from the game.
What do you do well—and even better than almost anyone else you know? Let us suppose that others have noticed this strength and have asked you to teach a course. What would you teach? What assignments would you include? What materials would you use? What will students learn? What skills will enable them to succeed in the course? If you were asked to write a book, broadcast a YouTube video, or create a game to support your course, what would you include? What would you name it? Why?
Think about your many strengths and capabilities and the value they can provide. Think about who can benefit from what you offer. Think about how you can benefit, as well.
As for Paul Player, he will continue to excel at his poker game and win some cash every now and then. His love of the game, his skill, and his intrigue with the tactics and strategies for winning have inspired him to enter the gaming industry.
To convey his capabilities and influence the decision-makers who can hire him, he has crafted this value proposition for a company that creates online games, including poker:
I am an expert poker player who dreams of creating new games that others and I will love to play. My passion for the game and desire to make it the passion of the many visitors to your website bode well for your continued success as the number one product developer in the online gaming industry. I offer you my skills, my energies, and my talents as a poker player in the role of a product specialist for your company.
Now, based on your many competencies, go ahead and craft your value proposition. We would love to see you succeed in sharing your goods with those who can benefit!