Do you know how valuable you are at work? Let me give you a hint – it has very little to do with your position in your organization, even if you’ve worked your way up to a high rung on the ladder. Do you know what truly clinches your indispensability? It is a term I refer to as your “informal power” – that is, your ability to influence others and overcome obstacles in areas in which you lack authority.
MSPs, you may often feel that your work is often overlooked or that your efforts go unrecognized. If this sounds like you, you may need to reposition yourself in a way that will point you toward success. After all, you can’t simply rely on your title alone to help you remain secure in your job. You will need to do the hard work to make yourself noticeable, effective, and a value add to your organization.
With the evolution of the healthcare industry, our influence at a local level is beginning to fade. Instead of crossing your fingers and wishing for the best to happen, you need to step out of the shadows and show your organization just how powerful, influential, and awesome you really are. That’s where your informal power can come into play.
Several MSPs operate at this level without even realizing it. We carry a lot of responsibility, yet we are not always the point of authority to change or enforce policies. Oftentimes, we may feel shackled or helpless, so we may become jaded and give up. Don’t do this, MSPs! Instead, sell yourself and your abilities to help make the necessary changes and to have people come to you for your opinion rather than inform you of changes after the fact.
So how can you tell if you’re not as valuable as you want to be? Take a look around and measure yourself and your talent in your organization against your colleagues. This should give you an idea of how replaceable you may be in your organization. If you find that you depend more on others to help you accomplish your work than the other way around, you could be in a state of power imbalance.
You’ll know if you’re in wading in troubled waters if:
*Colleagues are very valuable to you but you contribute less to them.
*You fail to manage across teams regardless of your rank while others do so more frequently and more easily.
*Administrators fail to recognize your work.
*You’re asked to implement a policy instead of being involved in the policy’s development.
So how can you stand out from the crowd? Here are 3 easy ways to make yourself more powerful and absolutely indispensable in your organization:
Offer Value to Your Stakeholders – When you work within an organization, you will begin noticing a lot about your colleagues. Some face certain work challenges or family situations. Some perform better with a little fresh coffee in their system. Others may get frustrated when technical issues arise. Part of tapping into your informal power is to pay close attention to your surroundings and use your observations to your advantage. Be the one who can solve someone’s minor IT issues. Volunteer to share your colleague’s load if you know he or she is overwhelmed. These actions will help you form and maintain strong relationships with others in your organization.
Become an Expert – People are attracted to those who possess unique skills and expertise, even if it doesn’t pertain to their job title. Become an expert on a certain policy and people will seek you out every time. Oh, and the secret to becoming an expert is easy: be positive, remain knowledgeable and up to date on the subject, and exude confidence. Even if you don’t feel confident, act like it until you are (Trust me, it will happen!)!
Take Control – Never be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone and take control of your future! Join NAMSS, your Chapter or State professional associations, boards, or clubs that you believe in. Further your education with a few classes. Be fearless and present any new ideas you may have to make procedures more efficient in your organization. All of these seemingly small steps will add up to improve your informal power and, ultimately, drive success in your career.
Don’t be afraid to let your strengths and knowledge shine, MSPs! Just follow these 3 steps, keep your head up, be brave, and SMILE! I know you can do it!