Increasing Your Professional Value and Worth to Your Organization
February 23, 2012
Positioning yourself for professional growth and upward mobility is important. If you don’t take time to plan your career, you could end up not fulfilling God’s purpose for your life.
God orders our steps by providing each of us with unique gifts, talents and abilities; furthermore, He expects us to make use of them. Therefore, in order to be all God desires for us, we need to have faith and work hard to get there.
So, how do we maximize our talents for God’s glory? We begin by prayerfully asking God to help us discern our skill set. Then, we make use of the many tools available such as career assessment, gift inventories, strength assessment, and even personal counseling. Continual evaluation, also, requires intentional periodic times of reflection, planning, and adjusting.
Taking timeouts from the fast-paced demands of both our personal and professional lives is important. Are we taking a breather to consider how we’re doing and where we’re headed? Are we taking the necessary time for personal reflection to set future direction? Are we mapping out a professional plan? Are we taking time to pray and listen to God? Are we keeping our priorities in life – God, family, and then work?
Just as organizations are careful to reflect and create a brand in the market, we, also, should build a personal brand. Doing so, can help us stay focused and true to what God is leading and calling us to do.
“Build Your Brand”
1. Know your strengths
2. Establish direction
3. Create a professional growth plan
4. Be willing to make changes
Know your strengths. Leaders should play from their strengths. We can do much more if we utilize the unique strengths and talents God has given. Instead of spending time improving and developing skills we’re not wired for, we should look to enhance, improve, and magnify those in our gift range. True success then becomes something natural and we are in step with how God has designed us.
Establish direction. We all want to know where we are going. It starts with knowing our calling and areas of passion. We each have a higher calling to live for Christ as well as a vocation. Our giftedness defines us and leads to a vocational calling. God does call us to a vocation (Eph. 4:1), and He desires that we walk worthy of our calling. Our career is a gift that He wants us to enjoy (Ecc. 2:24, 3:13). This realization can be motivating, daunting, and humbling because it causes us to rely on Him and seek to please Him in all we do (Eph. 5:10). Listening and praying about God’s leading and calling will keep us on a trajectory that produces peace and personal satisfaction.
Create a professional growth plan. It is important to establish goals for professional development including plans for education, plans for networking with other professionals, plans for attending professional conferences, and plans for mentoring relationships. Taking time to ensure we are improving and growing is important to our long-term career aspirations. Finding mentors who are willing to meet and discuss leadership and professional development is essential. Seek out individuals who will openly share so you can gain input and feedback.
Be willing to make changes. The most important thing we can do is be willing to change. If we desire to grow, we need to listen, learn and implement leadership changes that will help us maximize our giftedness and strengths. One of the best ways to get better as a leader is to listen to frank assessments from a mentor. It may not always be easy, but being open to critique can help us stay within our strength zone.
If we truly desire fulfilling God’s purpose for our lives, then taking time to position ourselves for the future is important. And, if we want to achieve God’s best for our lives, then we need to maximize our strength zone to further His work on this earth.