Hello? Are you listening to me?
What? I said. Trying to buy time.
I asked you what you were you doing these days at work?
I had not expected to struggle with a conversation with my old boss during lunch today. I was frustrated by this question. He knew what I did but my job was so broad, and I did so many things, and I found myself rambling through an answer.
That was years ago, but it remember it like it happened yesterday. Have you ever been in this situation? Trying to explain your job to someone. You want people to understand the value of the work you do, but the details of your job get lost on strangers. Or friends. Or anyone.
This confusion is a common problem but is also one of the main things keeping you from moving forward in your career.
If you can’t define your value proposition and what you do then how will your leadership do it any better?
You need to practice thinking about, saying and holding conversations about you and your team’s role in the company’s success. Speaking about this doesn’t mean you act like a show-off. Let me help you with a couple of steps to get you started.
What would you say you do here?
Take some time and write our the kind of work you do, the tasks on your plate and the requests people make of your time. It’s important to have a clear picture in your mind of the work you do and who you’re helping throughout the day. You will be surprised at all the things you do for your company, once you take the time to write them down.
How does that support the business’ goals?
Next, think about how those requests tie to the business and the company’s strategic goals. Are you supporting reports that make a department more efficient? Are you working to increase clients’ value to the firm? Are you making sure that the rest of the team stays well fed so they can work better on a good healthy lunch? Write down all the ways you think you’re helping the organization achieve their goals.
Build your elevator pitch
Now, combine those ideas into a paragraph-length statement that is easy to remember and easy to say. Something like:
My name is Adam Jorgensen. I and the supply chain coordinator for Depot Co. My team and I are responsible for helping the business find ways to increase our delivery performance and lower our transportation costs. We’ve made a 15% reduction already this year and hoped to reduce it by 30% by the end of the year. We believe that will help the company save approximately $300,000.
Something like that, short and sweet. Update it and practice it, so you’re not reciting a memorize monolog, but that you can comfortably discuss the tasks, values and impact that you know you’re responsible for!
Challenge this week is to create your new elevator pitch. Share it with me in the comments so we can all give you feedback!
See you out there! – Adam