The Daily Telegraph: Prove your worth - Michelle Gibbings

In this article written by Melanie Burgess for the Careers section of The Saturday Telegraph, Michelle offers her thoughts on how to prove your worth when seeking a promotion or role in a new organisation. Michelle highlights the importance of keeping track of your achievements and how to maintain your portfolio or work.

Workers must understand their value and have evidence to back it up when applying for an internal promotion or a role in a new organisation.

Simply asking a boss or hirer to take their word for it will not be enough – particularly in today’s competitive job market.

Workplace expert Michelle Gibbings says everyone brings useful skills and ways of operating to their work, but they must be able to clearly articulate that value and how it can help an organisation or client achieve their objectives.

Having evidence to back up your claims is critical; she says. “Whether you are a teacher, health professional, working in professional services or consulting, or working in an office role, keep a record of key tasks and projects you have completed, including the benefits of the work and where possible, have quantifiable metrics.

“Don’t forget to include times when you exceeded expectations and volunteered for extra work such as organising a social event or supporting the office’s charity fundraising.” Gibbings, the author of Bad Boss: What To Do If You Work For One, Manage One Or Are One, warns workers against underselling themselves but also says they should be careful not to claim credit for work that is not theirs.

“If it was a team effort, appreciate the group effort and detail your contribution,” she says. “Also, never criticise the work or effort of others.”

Gibbings recommends having a continual process for gathering evidence throughout the year, not just when someone asks for it.

As soon as a key piece of work is complete, it should be recorded with a photograph, data, comment or report.

“Keeping your evidence is simple; she says. “It can be an electronic notebook, a Word document, Excel spreadsheet or using tools such as OneNote or Evernote.

“Ensure you store the evidence in one location, so it is easy to find.

“It can also help to have a dedicated folder in your inbox, so when a relevant email comes in you file it for easy reference later.”

Gibbings recommends keeping a portfolio of work to anyone who “creates or enhances” as part of their role – not just photographers and artists.

“For example graphic designers, carpenters, plumbers. builders, hairdressers, and beauticians can have pictures of their work and even before and after shots,” she says. She also recommends keeping a log of any awards and achievements, and taking photos or screenshots of thank you notes from customers or colleagues.

If the role involves dealing with clients, she says workers can also pro-actively ask for a recommendation or endorsement based on the work they have delivered.

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