By Jim Wong, CPA | February 3, 2016

Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value. —Albert Einstein

Have you ever sat down and taken stock of your abilities? It’s not something that many professionals do very often, but it’s an important step in evaluating your value, especially in the workplace. While it can be difficult for many professionals to “sell” themselves, and their personal brand, it’s beneficial to do so.

It can boost your value to both current and future employers.

I’ve seen accounting, finance and IT professionals undersell themselves time and again to the benefit of no one. Certainly, vocalizing ones abilities and talents can lead to advancement in the workplace, however, some people don’t know where to begin when it comes to figuring out what sets them apart from others.

When I came across a Forbes article called, How To Boost Your Value To Employers, I knew that it was an important topic for the accounting, finance and IT professionals I encounter. So, I decided to highlight some aspects of the article, along with a few of my own, in the tried and true tips below.

1. Determine what sets you apart.
Many accounting, finance and IT professionals have the same set of skillsets as their peers within their respective functions, however, each individual is unique in his or her own rite. Are you a staff accountant who also has technology skills? Are you a technology professional who understands finance? This can make you a standout to your leaders. Knowing your own strengths and intricacies, and being clear about them will distinguish you from your peers.

2. Take stock of what is important. 
Just like with any inventory, you need to have a laundry list of characteristics and special skillsets that make you invaluable to your employer. Seeing them laid out in front of you can help you visualize your value and give you a clear indication of how to capitalize on those qualities.

3. Vocalize your talents.
Knowing your value introspectively will only get you so far if you do not make act on those talents in some manner. Internalizing your strengths, and not showcasing them will not benefit your role or your career path. It’s best to be confident about your talents and vocalize them to your manager or leader whenever appropriate, so he or she clearly knows your worth and can help coach you on your career path.

4. Develop your skills, even after you’ve vocalized your talents.
No matter how valuable you are, you must continue to learn and grow as a professional. Times are changing, technology is evolving, and becoming stagnant in your abilities and knowledge – even if you have qualities that are highly sought out – will do you no good. A true high-quality professional knows that they should continue developing both professionally and personally. Challenges are always out there and you need to have timely skills and abilities to continue to overcome them.

5. Stay open to learning/professional development.
Having an open mind about your career path and what you’d like in an employer to complement your value includes a desire to pursue ongoing professional development. Even if your manager or leader know your invaluable talents, they may still encourage you to learn and develop other aspects that are pertinent to your role within your accounting, finance or IT position.

What are some other ways to showcase or boost your value to an employer? Comment below and let us know!

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