My MBA clients are working this summer in intensive internships, making it an ideal time to talk about creating a personal value proposition, something important for each of us, no matter where we are in our careers, right?
- Consider listing what you appreciate about the organization and industry, about the work you’re doing. What do you like about it?
- Consider what makes it a great match for you, and for them.
- What are the challenges you’ve seen that you’d like to help them solve? Where are the opportunities for you to have an impact, make a difference?
Journal thoughts and ideas, inspirations, early in the internship process and throughout. You’ll be able to use them later. For non-interns: consider starting today and make creating your own value proposition a summer project (so that you’re ready to share it before Fall review).
Being partial to the lessons learned from the wearing-of-many-hats experience of being an entrepreneur, I found this Forbes article, 4 Steps to Building a Compelling Value Proposition, insightful and applicable to many industries and roles; there are certain to be gems here for your consideration as you build up to make the case for YOU.
Step 1: Define the problem(s) that you can help to solve. Are they legitimate problems to be solved? Is the need real? The author suggests four questions–the 4Us–to determine if the problem(s) are Unworkable, Unavoidable, Urgent, Underserved. In this way you will qualify its criticality.
Step 2: Evaluate what is unique about what you propose. The author uses a 3D formula for this for you to consider: “What unique combination of (D)iscontinuous innovation, (D)efensible technology, and (D)isruptive business model are you bringing to bear and what makes it truly compelling — not just to you and your colleagues, but to your most skeptical customer?”
Step 3: Consider measurement using the Gain/Pain ratio.
Step 4: Craft your value proposition. Consider the following format–which should of course be modified to fit YOUR unique situation, industry, role and challenges.
- For (target customers)
- Who are dissatisfied with (the current situation or alternative)
- My recommendation is a (new approach)
- That provides (key problem-solving capability)
- Unlike (alternatives).