“Value creation.” “Develop a value creation mindset.” “Create value.” We use these terms often at Praxis. But what is the practical application of value creation? What does the mindset look like in the professional world?

What is the Value Creation Mindset?

Rule-following and being “right” don’t matter in the real world. Outside of the classroom, compliance and waiting for permission are weaknesses, not strengths.

The Only Two Things That Matter in the Market

  1. The ability to create value for others.
  2. The ability to persuade others of your value creation potential.

That’s it. Can you create more value than you cost and can you convince others that you can?

It’s not your school, your grades, your network, your knowledge, your talent, your skill, your experience, or anything else you may have been told. Those things are only useful insofar as they help you do #1 or #2.

This is the most empowering revelation in relation to your career. Don’t let it scare you. Value creation opportunities are everywhere, for every level of skill and knowledge.

The Ability to Create Value For Others

At its core, the value creation mindset starts with just getting sh*t done.

What does it look like in practice?

  • Responding to emails immediately, and never taking longer than 24 hours to do so.
  • Showing up for everything you’ve said you’d show up for.
  • Finishing everything you’ve said you’d finish and on time.
  • When you say “I’ll read that book,” or “I’ll check out that website,” or “I’ll send my resume,” doing it. Immediately.

More Resources

Creating Value at Work
There’s More Than One Way to Create Value
There Are No Educational Alternatives for Value Creation
The One Skill that Beats Talent Every Time
The Secret Weapon of Young People on the Job Market

The Ability to Signal Your Value

Here are two ways to signal your value that are relevant today:

A) Build a digital paper trail.
Here’s a general operating principle for establishing this paper trail early on: documentation.

It’s easy to get focused on particulars but when you’re getting started, a good rule to follow is to simply document your activities.

Read a book? Do a short writeup about it and put it on Facebook and Amazon. Learn something new? Answer questions on Quora each time. Travel somewhere interesting? Put it online.

At Praxis, we like our participants to start off by blogging for 30 days about their work experiences and the things they’re learning in their education modules. It’s a great way to get started building a paper trail that lasts.

B) Learn how to create a value proposition.
Trying to get a job? Don’t rely on your resume. Set yourself apart and build something better.
Here’s what you want to prove with a value prop:

  • You’re worth more to them than the money they’ll need to pay you.
  • You can create value for them on day one and you have an action plan to do it.
  • You have the skills, experiences, and/or mindsets to do the job you are hired for.

More Resources

Want to Do Cool Stuff? Build a Better Signal
How to Create a Useful Digital Paper Trail
How to Get Started Building a Digital Paper Trail and Taking Control of Your Online Brand
How to Get the Job
Throw Your Resume Away: Simple Steps to Developing an Effective Value Proposition