Being a valuable employee sets the stage for a more awesome things: new opportunities, a higher salary, even a promotion. And you don’t even have to wait for your annual performance review to find out how you’re faring or if you’re still considered a top talent in the company. Try this quick litmus test to help you determine your value at work now, and how you can further ramp it up for the rest of your career.   

1. Have I met or even exceeded my KPIs for the past year?
Take a look at the metrics and key performance indicators that your boss has laid out for you since your last review. Have you gotten any good results lately? Have you been hitting the numbers consistently, or even surpassing them? Review all the accomplishments you’ve made and jot them side-by-side with the corresponding metrics. This way, your boss will see that you’ve been performing beyond expectations.  

2. Have you initiated new projects that significantly affected the company’s bottomline?  

A business always has two main objectives: to increase profits and lessen expenses. Have you proposed or implemented projects that directly contributed to the company’s numbers? Try to quantify the results of the projects you’ve handled and relate them to the company’s KPIs. If you can make a solid case and show that those projects have made a substantial impact to the company, then you can definitely say that you’ve made a valuable contribution. 


3. Has your responsibility increased since the past year?   
One key trait of high-value employees is that they don’t let themselves become boxed in by their job descriptions. They’re willing to perform tasks beyond their roles and eagerly take on challenges that stretch their abilities and push them out of their comfort zones. Have you exhibited the same attitude at work? Take stock of your actual responsibilities and contrast them with your job description on paper. Ask yourself if you’re constantly performing beyond the call of duty (out of your own initiative), and if your manager has delegated bigger, more critical tasks to your capable hands. If so, that means you’re providing more value than before.

4. Have you taken on a leadership capacity in the past few months or years?

You don’t even have to be in a management position to put your leadership skills to action. If you’ve taken the lead in some of your projects and you’ve implemented it from start to end with success, you can definitely count that as a win in terms of providing value. Even just being 100% accountable for your work—whether things turn out for better or worse—is a sign of being a good leader, and that will surely get you a thumbs up from your boss. 

5. Are you improving each year and have you taken steps to further your knowledge and skills outside of work?

Have you made it a priority to keep learning, whether in terms of technical proficiency, domain knowledge, or soft skills? Are you up-to-date with the innovations and new developments in your industry? Are you constantly hunting for resources to feed your hungry mind? Continuous learning is necessary if you want your career to grow by leaps and bounds, and it will also allow you be better and more valuable at work.

6. Have you established good working relationships with your colleagues? 
Being a valuable employee is not just about cold, hard numbers and results; people also count in the equation. Take an honest look at your relationship with your managers and co-workers. Do people find it easy and enjoyable to work with you? Do you collaborate well with others? Are you gracious and professional when dealing with your colleagues even in tense situations? Your working relationships can also give you a sense of how valuable are, and you should be aware if you’re getting rants or raves from your fellow employees.

7. Do you regularly ask for feedback from your superiors and colleagues?
Are you proactive in asking for feedback from your bosses and peers, or do you wait until your annual performance review? Do you shy away from having people look at your work or do your seek out people’s comments and opinions? Feedback is an important mechanism for work improvement – you’ll never know what you’re doing right or wrong unless you ask other people. The opinions you get might be varied, and you may not agree with everything your boss or co-workers say. But the important thing is to gain insight so you can look at your work in a broader perspective and make quick improvements.

8. Do you set goals for yourself aside from those that your manager gives you?

Personal goals are great benchmarks for your progress and they also show your boss that you’re full of ambition and drive to succeed.  Make it a priority to constantly set and achieve personal goals. These can be work-related (e.g. expanding your skills in a similar field) or it can be just for personal development (e.g. being a better speaker and presenter).  Every bit of progress, even in your personal life, is going to cascade to your work and make you a more valuable employee.
    
9. Is your performance on par with your peers?  
Your performance is often evaluated relative to your colleagues’, so ask yourself: Are you putting in work that’s on the same level, or even higher, than your peers? If you’re surrounded by top performers and brilliant minds in the industry, use it as motivation to push your limits and keep up with the challenging, high-caliber pace. If you’re among top performers, you can influence your peers to up their game. Keep in mind that a business relies on teams to get work done so everyone should operate on the same level of excellence to produce valuable results.

10. Are you constantly adding to your accomplishments and not just dwelling on past successes?
You won’t cement your place in the company org chart with just one mega-successful project (especially if it happened years ago). You need to make a string of successes on a regular basis to show that you’re constantly moving up to the next level. A growing record of work achievements is also a testament to your competence and skills – you’re showing everyone that you’re not just a one-hit wonder, but a true asset to the organization.     


PHOTO: Agent Carter/ABC; GIFS: Giphy.com

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