Ways to Distinguish Yourself #193 – Watch your Effort-Value Curve

When you are at the beginning of your career, you really work hard and for all that effort the “real value” that you add may not be that significant.

This may not be a problem as people know that you are just “starting.”

As you learn and become better at your job, it takes less effort to “do” your job and you can start creating more value with less effort. In other words you start becoming “efficient.”

Yes, when you start getting comfortable with your job you may get bored and get another job. That’s a possibility. However, in the new job, you are “new” so again it takes a bit of effort to create value demanded by the job.

In an ideal scenario, as your career progresses, the effort required to deliver value should keep dropping or the value delivered for the same effort should keep going up.

However, there is a small catch.

With your experience, the expectation of the value that you will create is also going up. Unless you build enough “power”, you will very soon notice that you have to work “extra hard” to match the expectations of the job. Nobody will be happy if you created the value that is created by a novice when you have are a veteran. It won’t even be called an accomplishment.

The more knowledge you acquire, the more you realize that you need to acquire more knowledge. However, without leverage (higher output for lower input) there is no time for you to acquire the knowledge. So for the benefit of your organization and for your own benefit, you need to watch the effort-value curve.

So the big questions are:

1. Where are you today on this curve?

2. What can you do to move to a better place on this curve?


Note 1: For links to the other 192 entries in the “Distinguish yourself” series, please visit my Squidoo lens on the same topic:
Squidoo Lens: Distinguish yourself

Note 2: The first 25 entries in the series have been packaged in a ChangeThis manifesto that was published on September 07, 2005. You can download that manifesto here:
ChangeThis Manifesto: 25 Ways to Distinguish Yourself (PDF, Free)

Note 3: My latest manifesto on ChangeThis was published on August 6, 2008. This is a photographic manifesto featuring 15 of my mini sagas (stories in exactly 50 words). Here is the link:

ChangeThis Manifesto: Mini Sagas – Bite Sized Lessons for Life and Business (PDF, Free)