Know your value | A Black man staring off, thinking about his value.

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Know Your Value: You May Be More Successful Than You Think

Everybody wants to succeed. (It’s not like people try to fail at their respective endeavors.) But success is subjective, not objective. This can make it tough to know your value in any given arena. Because if you’re not careful, the family, friends, coworkers, and other people around you can lead you to have a false understanding of your own success level.

You don’t want to overvalue yourself any more than you want to undervalue yourself. It’s better to know your value—your true value—so you can navigate your career accordingly. Here is some quick advice on identifying and maximizing your worth.

Your playing time isn’t always an indicator of your success

In team sports, a player’s playing time is often an indicator of their success. If you’re the starting point guard on the basketball team, for instance, you’re probably the best point guard on the team. If you only get to play when your team is already up by 40 points, you’re probably one of the less skilled players. But there are exceptions.

Sometimes a team simply isn’t the right fit for a player. Sometimes a coach hates a player. In both instances, that player might not get much playing time until they join another team, no matter how good they are. Even if a player never gets much playing time, however, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re a horrible basketball player. Less than half of NBA players are starters, but each of them are still one of the best basketball players in the world. If they weren’t, they wouldn’t be in the NBA at all.

It’s the same thing in business. Across industries, companies, and jobs, your playing time isn’t always an indicator of your success. So, if you want to know your value, don’t limit yourself to your current situation. Consider all you’ve done to date. Consider all you can still do if given the opportunity. Don’t settle for where you’re at—keep growing and pursuing your short-term and long-term goals. But make sure you don’t sell yourself short. Odds are, you’re already more successful than you think.

When you know your value, honor your value

Once you identify your value, don’t settle for less than you’re worth. If you know you’re deserving of a certain salary and your current employer won’t give you a raise, it might be time to start job hunting. Believe your skillset would be best utilized in a different career altogether? It might be time for a career shift. When you know your value, honor your value. No matter what that looks like.

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