AAMI News November 2017

Career Center: Professional Success Starts with Knowing Your Value

Robert Jensen
Robert Jensen

As you go through your career, there are ups and downs, twists and turns. You often can’t see them, but you know they are coming. What skills do you bring to the workplace that can get you around the next corner? How can you know what you do best?

According to AAMI President and CEO Robert Jensen, an essential part of finding a job that fulfills your passions and matches your skills is knowing—and being able to articulate—your personal value proposition (PVP).

“If you know yourself, you’ll know if you’re in the right job,” Jensen said during a recent AAMI Next Generation Task Force “brown bag” session. “And if you find that you’re not in the right job, knowing your PVP will enable you to find a better fit, whether that’s internally or at a new organization.”

To develop your PVP, you need to define three distinct characteristics: the inherent, practiced, and technique, according to work done by Laurence MacSween, an organizational innovation strategist at Adobe.

The Inherent

“These are your natural abilities and your natural strengths,” Jensen said during his presentation. “These are the things I as a manager cannot train a person to do because this is what they are bringing to the table as part of themselves. No matter where you are, these things will be consistent and true.”

Inherent characteristics include your:

  • Values—What you bring to everything you do, including your beliefs about what is right and wrong, your concept of what works best in specific situations, and what you inherently think. Examples: resourcefulness, efficiency, curiosity, “quality over quantity,” empathy, long-term thinking.
  • Strengths—What you are naturally good at. Examples: strategic thinking, communication, organization.
  • Passions—Activities you lose yourself in or areas you have an insatiable desire to learn more about. Examples: technology, robotics, medicine, how things work. “Learning what some of these things mean to you may take time,” Jensen said. “Not all of them are fully developed at any point in your career.”

The Practiced

This component includes:

  • Skills—What you are capable of doing and/or teaching. Examples: project management, data entry, preventive maintenance.
  • Experience—What you have done or accomplished. Examples: installed 150 patient monitoring systems, acquired $25 million in technology, developed five new policies.

“All of these are things you will have listed on a résumé and LinkedIn,” Jensen said. “Not everything you learn is learned on the job, but these are areas you have worked at improving and are applicable to the work environment in some way.”

The Technique

This is the approach you apply to your work, including:

  • Principles—How you approach your work. Examples: using visuals rather than words, creating an enthusiastic environment.
  • Processes—The broader approaches that guide your work. Examples: reliability-centered maintenance, risk management.
  • Tools—What you use to do your work. Examples: computerized maintenance management system, lean principles.

“This is what makes you great at what you do,” Jensen explained. “Your approach provides you with a unique way of seeing and doing things that contribute to your success.”

Putting Your PVP to Use

According to Jensen, your PVP is the “only clear window” a manager has into who you are and what you are capable of.

“As a manager or CEO, you want to match people to what they do best, what they like, and what serves the organization,” Jensen said. “Part of this is understanding what you bring to the table, knowing where you want to be and how to get there, and establishing why you are an essential employee.”