Your Worth Versus Your Utility.

December 4, 2019

Your Worth Versus Your Utility.

May 29, 2023

A friend in her mid-40’s wanted some career advice. She’s developed some impressive leadership wisdom, but also has taken a sojourn to pursue passions the past few years. Now she feels it’s time to start making money again, only she feels like a square peg in a round hole job market. Her dilemma is a common one.

She’s trying to decide if she should take a job that’s beneath her skill set as a foot in the door so the company leaders can see how much wisdom she can bring to the table. But she’ll be working remotely much of the time so won’t have as much facetime with these leaders.

I asked her, “How can you assure they’ll see your worth versus your utility?” Most employers are trying to solve the “what can you do for me?” problem (utility), not the “what can you teach me?” opportunity (worth). If you want to rise above the tactical mouse in the maze, your potential employer needs to see your strategic value, ideally, before they hire you. Because, often, the moment you’re hired, you’re defined by your internal job classification.

How can you show your value? Ask senior leaders in your interviews what problems they’re most struggling with these days. Write a short summary of some strategic paths they could consider. If they don’t appreciate your fresh and wise eyes, find another employer who will.

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