How to prove your value at work without burning out

Career advice

After the challenges of 2020, many people have felt the need to prove their value at work and assure their employer of why they’re an essential part of the team. Whether you’re a long-standing employee or brand new to a role, we’re sharing helpful methods for demonstrating your value at work, along with tips to prevent yourself from overdoing it and burning out in the process.

Re-visit your job description

When was the last time you looked at your job description? For many of us, it’s a static document which we only peruse when applying for a role, then once we’ve landed the position we lose sight of that anchor. Dig it out and evaluate how your work in recent months aligns with what was initially expected from the job. Your colleagues will value having a dependable person on the team, and that starts with meeting the basic requirements laid out in the role profile.

Perhaps you’re already fulfilling all the expectations listed and it feels like you’ve outgrown the role, in which case you could set up a meeting with your manager to discuss the results your work has produced. If you’re interested in a promotion, track down the job description for the role at the next level up from your own to assess the difference in responsibilities or experience required. You may want to share your ambitions with your manager, so that they can support you in your growth and professional development.

Be proactive and look for problems you can solve

If you have the time to spare, stick your hand up and volunteer your involvement in a project that grabs your attention. Employers value positively-minded and proactive individuals who show willingness to get stuck in. So rather than waiting for someone to ask you to contribute, speak up and express your availability.

Also keep your ear open to pain points that your manager, team or department may be struggling with. Can you identify ways of easing those, or solving them entirely? You might have an idea for streamlining a clunky process, or a method for fostering a renewed sense of team spirit while many of us continue to work remotely. Can you take full ownership of the solution and run it end-to-end?

These scenarios offer a brilliant way for you to demonstrate your value, even if they don’t sit within the parameters of your job description. By using your initiative in this way, you’ll become front of mind as the go-to person when other challenges come along, and they’re also great opportunities for you to try something new and expand your own skillset, which could be highly beneficial for future job opportunities.

Prioritise your wellbeing

While these suggestions offer effective ways of proving your value to an employer, it’s really important to regularly check in with your energy levels and assess how you’re faring along the way. The World Health Organization defines burnout, in part, as the depletion of energy or feeling exhausted. If you’re highly stressed, overwhelmed by your workload and consistently working long hours, you won’t be able to sustain your best performance.

Creating and adhering to boundaries is crucial in minimising the sense of overwhelm, which might look like blocking out time in your calendar each week to focus on one task, or not scheduling calls over lunch time. You may also need to start saying ‘no’ to certain projects, which could feel uncomfortable initially. If your manager asks for your involvement, you could ask which project you’re currently working on will have to be put on pause to make space for this new one. Or prepare to have an open conversation with them about how you’re feeling and the best way you can be supported. Prioritising your wellbeing is not just important for yourself, but also for your team; enabling you to continue bringing your best self to work.

If you’re ready to take on a new role, we can help you fulfil your career potential. We’re a global leader in the recruitment industry, paving the way in the world of work. We have offices spread throughout the country and hundreds of temporary and permanent job opportunities available across a range of industries. Our experienced consultants will support your job search by using their specialist knowledge to match your skills with suitable roles.

View all our job opportunities to find and apply for your next role today.