There are a few job search folks who boil your value prop (or, the reason hiring managers hire someone) to two things. They say:
Companies hire you because you will either make them money or save them money.
It’s taken a while for me to really see any position, and any work activity, in either of these two buckets… but I am getting closer.
I wanted to share an idea about saving money.
Many years ago I was an IT manager for a custodial and building maintenance company. I went on a 4 hour road trip to a conference. The person I was with said something like this:
Do you realize how many toilets had to be cleaned in order for us to make this trip?
I didn’t have any idea what the profit margin on one toilet cleaning was… but I knew the trip was relatively expensive. Should we have NOT gone? Or was there value in going?
Were we just spending money (thus, not making or saving), and not bringing value to the company?
I have since thought about how an employee can bring value to a company. If this sounds interesting, I recommend you pick up Indispensable by Monday, by Larry Mylar. Larry talks about how we can all make a big difference at work… you can see a story that shows how one office admin (legal assistant) made a change that saved a couple thousand dollars a month. Not a huge deal, but that added up to about $25k/year. Still not a huge deal, right?
Consider this: If the company has a 5% margin, it would take $500,000 in sales to produce that same profit.
Can you identify cost savings, even minor ones, and quantify them like that?
“I save $25/year” is not a strong statement, but “I can find cost savings that are equivalent to $500k (or, a half million dollars) each year” IS a strong statement.