When I hear anyone say “I don’t have anything to offer at work!” or “Why would anyone ever hire me, I’m too old, too young, have no experience…?” it just makes me nuts! Why? Because everyone has value. The problem is that it’s hard to tell people why you’re valuable if you don’t know why. So let’s figure it out. You ARE valuable – I guarantee it.

Try this.

1. Write your omnibus work history (OWH)*.
Don’t worry about the format. Include every job you’ve had in the last 20 years (if you’ve just graduated for college, make this about every volunteer or club responsibility you’ve had, internships – and include high school). Make a bullet list of the skills and responsibilities for each job. Don’t leave out things like supervising a shift at Starbucks or McD’s or at the local daycare. List the skills for each job in order by how much you like using each skill. Print it out.

2. Go full hands-on and grab scissors and tape.
Don’t do this on your computer, it won’t be as effective. I mean it. Get those scissors out. Cut up your omnibus work history (OWH) and rearrange it by ranking the jobs based on how much you liked each one. Tape it together.

3. Take a break for 3 minutes.
Walk outside. Stare out the window. Listen to a song. Do not check your email, Insta, Facebook, LinkedIn, Snapchat, or Twitter. Don’t forget to come back to your OWH.

4. Read through your taped up OWH.
Take notes or highlight the work you like the best. Specific skills and specific responsibilities. These are what make you valuable. When you’re using these skills or exercising these responsibilities, you’re in the groove.

5. Write or record a paragraph about how you would like to use those skills or exercise those responsibilities at work.
You can write this about your current job or your ideal job. This is your I Have Value statement.

6. Practice talking about the items in your I Have Value statement until they’re as familiar to you as your drive to work.
Always start with the words “I have value.” Own your value.

7. Share your I Have Value statement with a friend or co-worker.
Get their feedback. Enjoy their response! And, if they suggest adding something to your value statement, do it. Don’t argue. Accept the compliment and incorporate it into your thinking and your I Have Value statement.

You have value. Now go prove it to yourself and the world.

* – containing or including many items. (Merriam-Webster)