In this down economy, how can I proactively demonstrate added value to my organization?

Begin with the basics and honestly assess your individual appearance, work performance, and office behavior to ensure you are conforming to your company's expected norms.

Begin with the basics and honestly assess your individual appearance, work performance, and office behavior to ensure you are conforming to your company's expected norms. These are common employee evaluation standards.

The key is to add value on all fronts. That means arriving early or on time, being ready for conference calls and meetings, dressing and behaving professionally, meeting deadlines, exceeding expectations, voicing appropriate thoughts during client discussions, devoting full attention to excellent client service, and generating the best results possible. It also includes closely adhering to company policies, taking initiative, acting ethically, exhibiting a positive attitude, and being eager to pitch in and assist others.

After this self-assessment, talk candidly with your supervisor and ask what you might be able to do to contribute more to your organization. Be prepared with several suggestions for taking on more responsibility or spearheading new projects. Then discuss an action plan for making these things happen.

By focusing on being more productive, you'll find yourself contributing more to the company and, therefore, becoming more valuable to it as time goes on.

Keith Pillow is the VP at Abelson Group.

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