Platt Perspective on Business and Technology

Offering a unique value proposition as an employee 2: taking an entrepreneur’s approach to proactively creating and offering workplace value

Posted in career development, job search, job search and career development by Timothy Platt on May 31, 2013

This is my second posting to a series on offering defining value as an employee, and on presenting yourself as the answer to problems faced while doing so (see Part 1: taking a consultant’s approach and offering a consultant’s value.)

I began this series in Part 1, by discussing the consultant’s approach and will have more to add to that side of this larger discussion in this series as I continue it. But I turn here to add in some thoughts as to the value of taking an entrepreneur’s approach. I made note of communications skills at the end of Part 1 as fitting into that, and will discuss communications best practices in this posting. But I begin at a more fundamental starting point, and with the entrepreneurial sense of ownership and responsibility.

• Effective entrepreneurs feel a strong sense of ownership and responsibility for what they do, and for carrying through effectively on whatever they do.
• Entrepreneurs may be thought of more in terms of setting out to build their own businesses, but anyone who works can take an entrepreneurial approach and even if they work entirely for others.
• There, their goal is more likely to be one of building a center of performance and results excellence within the organization that they work for – and with the same pride and dedication and sense of responsibility as if they did own that business.

Successful entrepreneurs do not blithely cut corners; they take the extra steps to make sure that what they do is done right. And they look for opportunity to take that extra step and offer that extra increment of value beyond whatever is expected.

• But simply taking responsibility and doing more – striving to find that extra opportunity to create value, is not going to advance a career if this entrepreneurial employee cannot effectively communicate what they have done and are doing, and with the people who would benefit from their efforts.
• They need to communicate effectively with the stakeholders who in effect constitute their clients if they are to work on and prioritize the right tasks and outcomes worked towards, so as to meet their needs, and if their stretch goal efforts are to offer the value they intend.
• And they need to effectively communicate on all of this with their supervisors so as to avoid goal and priorities conflicts with them, and with others on their team and to keep their supervisor appraised as to what they are doing and why.
• Simply going off and doing things, and unexpected and unplanned for things without effective multidirectional communications can only lead, at least long-term, to conflicts and problems.

Here, knowing and honoring the communications preferences of the people you work with, is essential for making this work. As a case in point, I am comfortable writing and reading about the details. Many supervisors prefer very short and focused messages that stick to just the essential details they need to see – and I add that I too prefer that when busy and very tight for time to get everything done that I am working on.

Communicate face to face in brief meetings if that is what works best for the people you need to connect with and communicate with; use well written emails, selected for details and length according to the needs and preferences of your audience if that type of asynchronous messaging would be best; use online messaging or chat tools if that would be best – know your audience and remember that communicating only works if the message gets through and in a form that its recipient can effectively and comfortably use. And people’s communications preferences and needs can change according to their work schedules and pressures too.

With Part 1 and this posting in place as a starting framework for further discussion, I am going to switch gears and begin a process of applying the issues and perspectives raised so far, through an employment cycle beginning with job search and the hiring process. And I will, of course, further expand on the starting discussions of Parts 1 and 2 while doing so. My specific goal in this for Part 3 will to discuss and offer best practices for being a best hire and a best employee. Meanwhile, you can find this and related postings at my Guide to Effective Job Search and Career Development – 2 and at my first Guide directory page on Job Search and Career Development.

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