A standard question to think about the work we’ve been doing is to ask oneself what value one has added.
This is actually a daunting question. And possibly not the right one.
What it asks us to answer is what others took out of our work, what they thought about it, and what they valued in it. It naturally is possible to get that information through feedback, testimonials, or any other method inviting someone else to comment on how they perceive your work. These are great ways to have others evaluate your work and share how they experienced it.
It may not give you the means to evaluate the work you’ve done and do it so according to your own measurement.
And these make it complicated for people to evaluate themselves. The expectations they have of themselves may lead perfectionists to expect being high achievers and only compare themselves with what they hoped to be able to achieve. Others will celebrate any action they’ve performed.
Another perspective people may develop is that they perceive themselves as either irreplaceable or as easily replaceable. Which is a form to elevate or reduce their impact.
A different approach to perceive one’s contribution is to take a look at the difference one made.
What is different after doing the job from how it was before? How was it done differently from the way others would have done it? The way a job is done depends on the existing experience, and the decision one made to determine the best way to do that job in the given situation.
In contrast to that is the competitive approach to self-evaluation. It’s an approach allowing to compare oneself with others is a way to highlight if the solution was better or worse than the one others would have chosen.
The thing is, that doing a job always means to make a difference and to do it in a unique way.
Looking at the difference one made allows one to see the work that has actually been accomplished.
An often overlooked detail here is, that in most cases it is a job you did because someone asked you to do it.
That may be where the added value is. Someone valued you and the way you do your job enough to ask you to do it. What is it, that made them ask you?