Your value in the consulting career
My every day job is to solve business problems with IT, creating as much value for my customer as possible. But what about me, how do I make myself more valuable?
In a consultant firm you have something I call 'internal value'. This is simply put how valuable you are to your employer. The more valuable you are, higher pay raises you'll get. Increasing your internal value is in your own best interest. Sometimes you need to do this outside your ordinary work hours, but it will pay up eventually.
How to increase your internal value
- Educate - host internal seminars and work groups to share what you know best
- Help - When anyone asks for help, be there and give your support
- Learn - Everything about every customer making you the goto person
Your external value is what makes you valuable outside your consultant agency. How many people outside the firm knows you, and what do they know you for? Things you do for the community will come in handy the day you're out looking for a new job. But also, a high external value will make your current employer even more reluctant to let you go.
Here's some things you can do to increase your external value
- Twitter - get people to follow you, make a name, and you'll increase your external value
- Write a blog - writing will make you interesting and cause people to start following you, increasing your external value
- Help out - spend some time in forums answer questions about your favourite topics. StackOverflow is a good place to start.
- Public speaking - prepare a talk and speak publicly. Some go to conferences, other setup seminars at local user groups.
- Give back to the community - start an open source project, or at least make your experiments public through GitHub or BitBucket.
-Mikael Lundin, who is that?
-That's the guy who ... [insert accomplishment here]
An accomplishment is a tremendous boost to your external value, but very hard to achieve. It is a thing that will define you to people that doesn't know you.
- Writing a book - "He's author of the book 'how to make a million dollars in 14 weeks'"
- Must have library/app - "He's written the log4node library"
- One of a kind idea - "He is the creator of Angry pigs"
Some base accomplishments on luck, but it is just plain hard work for a very long time.