How to Enhance Your Value as an Employee (BOOK EXTRACT)

Jul 20

Feeling undervalued by your employer? Micah Styles and Ian Duckworth of Barker Langham Recruitment provide some advice on the challenge of changing that.

An extract from our latest book, For Love or Money: Confronting the State of Museum Salaries.

WHEN ARTIST JAMES McNEILL WHISTLER was asked in court whether he could really demand such a high price for a painting that had only taken two days to paint, he replied, “No, I ask it for the knowledge of a lifetime.” He explained, “You are not paying for what I have just done, you are paying for what, through my knowledge, experience and expertise, how I know how to do it best.” And the value proposition was born.

Intelligent, innovative, creative, committed and energized employees create better organizations; however, their value contribution is often qualitative rather than quantitative in nature, usually increasing performance and reputation as opposed to commercial value. What needs to be made clear is the way this first type of value-add is equal to the second type of commercial value and no different in the way it adds to overall value.

As is shown in the chart above, employees need to bridge this gap in perception and understanding, and go beyond their job description to demonstrate that they not only do their job (deliver value); they also need to itemize how the museum benefits from employing them beyond a responsibilities list (adding value); and they need to show how – and here is the key – they look for and proactively generate new ideas, new ways of working, and new optimized processes for greater efficiency and effectiveness (creating value).

Employees in such a scenario, who have developed a clear Employee Value Proposition, are more like entrepreneurs than simply “staff” in the way they create value for themselves and for others. These are people who know that any organization chart, chain of command or well-established process is either a simplification of how things really work or else a transient form in a changing world. By regularly asking about the why of operations and deliverables they are capable of creating an environment of improvement.

For Love or Money: Confronting the State of Museum Salaries



Museum Mission and Museum Interests
Far Too Female
Passion as Pay




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