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Professional Net Worth

I was going through my files and found an article written by ... and ... in the October 1986 issue of The ... (putout by the ... which I ... highly to anyone wanti

I was going through my files and found an article written by Jim
Cathcart and published in the October 1986 issue of The Toastmaster (put
out by the organization which I recommend highly to anyone wanting to
increase their skills in speaking, writing, listening, and evaluating).
Mr. Cathcart is a full-time professional author and speaker I have
admired for years. In this article, the author states that Effort times
Equity (the degree of ownership you have acquired in your career, i.e.,
your professional net worth) equals Result. People can increase effort
or equity and have a positive influence on results. But there is a
limit to this formula. There are three other skill areas vital to a
career: (1) technical knowledge and skills; (2) interpersonal skills;
and (3) self-management skills. Let's take a closer look at these.

For better or worse, many people place a lot of emphasis on credentials
earned: education and professional degrees, honor, and designation.
While these can certainly be important, practical job experience,
knowledge and skills are the attributes that really prove what you are
capable of. Your documents, provable track record of what you've
actually accomplished speaks for your credibility and usefulness. Being
able to communicate what you know through clear, fluent speech and
displaying effective listening skills are also important factors in
displaying your breadth and depth of information. Be open-minded enough
to explore avenues outside your normal range of work related material an
normal interests. I've discovered some great new interests by "stepping
outside the box" that benefit me and have also encouraged others to
learn more.

Building relationships is important. Having contacts with a variety of
people in different firms and industries, technical and social
organizations, and co-workers (no matter their position in the company)
helps add to your stature and believability. Your reputation: what
people think you have done and what people think of you does count.
This absolutely reflects your overall image within your own group as
well as the overall marketplace. Word spread s- especially when it's
not flattering. The quickest way to kill a business relationship is to
display a lack of ethics or to compromise your beliefs. It's sad to
say, but you are also judged by who you keep company with. I've found
at times that I had to choose my integrity over a promotion or business
association. It's something to keep in mind, depending on your goals
and the situation.

How balanced is your life? You may not be aware of it, but your actions
and words do lead people to make judgment on how you live your life in
the seven major categories of mental, physical, family, social,
financial, career, and spiritual. Make sure you spend some time in
each, don't let two or three areas dominate constantly.

Your efficiency and effectiveness on the job tells other people about
your work habits. A casual appearance may be the norm where you work
but take care when you go elsewhere. A messy or too neat desk also
impresses people in different ways - try to find a medium level that
allows you to do your work but doesn't set up unnecessary discussion
among others.

Mr. Cathcart states: "The way you conduct yourself conveys two important
impressions: (1) your level of maturity and (2) your willingness to be
flexible with other people. Maturity shows clearly in how people handle
stress. If, at the slightest provocation, you start griping or accusing
or making sarcastic remarks toward other people, the message is, I am
not in control of myself. Flexibility deals with how you are able to
adjust to people's different styles. Some people prefer a fast pace,
others a slow one. Some are quite open and relationship oriented.
Others are self-contained and prefer to focus on the task at hand. If
you can develop the flexibility to adjust to these differences, then you
will be perceived as a seasoned professional."

How's your attitude? Is it one of optimism or does it reside more often
at the other end of the spectrum? That doesn't mean you have to be too
cheerful or rarely display seriousness - again, think balance. Do both
and several shades in between. It makes you more accessible and puts
other people in a more comfortable frame of mind when around you. This
also applies to your thought habits. Pay attention and make changes
when you seem to be losing some effectiveness or feel a lessening of
friendly overtures being directed towards you.

We'd all like to enhance our professional net worth, no matter what we
are doing. The assets inherent in the above items will provide a
strong foundation for your career. Continually seeking to improve upon
the talents and skills you already possess will surely place you in a
position of increased power.

Article Tags: Other People

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Copyright 2002 by Virginia Reeves. This article may be reprinted; inform the author via For more on creativity, success, communication, and enhancing your skills and talents for more growth,
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