According to a recent Harris Poll survey 83% of Americans set financial goals each year with the purpose of improving quality-of-life and to increase savings. However, with all the articles and media promising ways to accomplish this, most people fall victim to inertia: continuing to do the same thing they’ve always done.
Barring the lotto and Draft Kings, ways to create more disposable income include a job promotion or finding a new job that will pay you more, starting a part-time business or a drastic reduction in your lifestyle spending (see inertia above).
But if you’re happy in your current situation, or just don’t have the will or bandwidth to make these changes, how can you reach these higher financial goals?
As professionals and business owners we are always faced with the challenge of reinventing ourselves. It’s a must to reassess the value we bring to the market each year, because the compensation we receive tends to directly correlate to the value we bring to the marketplace.
Here are three keys to increasing the value of your professional brand that will help you prosper where you‘re planted without making drastic career and lifestyle changes.
Advocate Your Expertise
Expertise is about problem solving. Any doctor can diagnose your migraine headaches, but to find the relief you need it may be best to go to a neurologist who is an expert on brain disorders.
What knowledge or skills do you have that can position you as an expert problem solver? What tasks do you consistently do better than your peers? What do others seek your advice on most often? Volunteer to teach your system or philosophy inside your organization for others to improve their results. Also, publishing your ideas in your industry’s trade magazine or your blog can position you as a valuable resource and increase your perceived value in your industry.
Attack Your Weaknesses
You must first know your weakness and commit to personal and professional development. Comb through past job reviews or performance appraisals for critical feedback on suggested areas of improvement. There are books, conferences, certifications and even post-graduate classes available to help turn your area of weakness into a solid strength that will set you apart from others in your field.
Also, seek advice from your professional mentor and find out how they addressed similar challenges in their career. If you don’t have a professional mentor, find one!
Advance In Professional Associations
Every industry has a professional society whose purpose is to help sharpen your skills and offer resources that are inaccessible to non-members. The real diamond is the networking opportunity these associations provide. It’s the absolute best way to find the right mentors, learn trade secrets not found in books or online, and most importantly grow your influence in a way that increases the value of your professional brand.
Rome Madison is an expert voice on the topic of personal and professional reinvention. Read more on his blog at RomeMadison.com