• Erin Sarpa

Articulating Your Value

Updated: Mar 4, 2019

I started a design agency 28 years ago. It's still a working, revenue generating business with good clients. Then I had 3 kids and hired other moms to work part time before "flexible hours and work from home" was a thing. My company won awards, I became a public speaker and 10 years ago we started another division for licensed art. I've helped my clients create a brand from nothing, land a multi-million dollar retail placement deal and become a household name. The licensed art brand has sold well over $1m in stationery and home decor with our designs.


Do I have your attention?



There are a lot of reasons that men still make more than women and occupy the executive level at greater numbers. One of those is that men are very comfortable articulating their achievements and they have greater confidence in their ability to do a job THEY'VE NEVER DONE. There are statistics to support this, look it up. So when a company is interviewing and they are comparing a man and a woman (if the woman has the confidence to apply for a position for which she might only be 90% qualified) this is what they are hearing:


HER: I worked with a great team to achieve XXXXX

HIM: I got our numbers from X to XX


HER: I was part of the initiative to....

HIM: I ran the project that achieved.....


HER: Our group was successful with....

HIM: I was successful with....


Can you see where I'm going with this? Your team or group is not up for the promotion, raise, or new gig. You are. As women we are programmed to create community, which is valuable and something we should absolutely use to get ahead and create a better working environment. BUT. Giving other people credit for our achievements is a bad habit.



When I start a workshop with a list of my achievements so that the audience understands what value I provide, I elevate my status and let them know that they are about to get good info from someone who is successful. They are impressed and eager to hear more. When I then ask them to list their own achievements, they struggle. It's uncomfortable, feels like boasting and they tend to play their role down.


Your career (and self confidence) will benefit from articulating your value. Write it down (see HIM above for the way to do this). Then say it out loud. Then do it again. And again. And one more time for the people in the back.

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