How To Recognise Your Value When You’re Not On The Front Line

How to Manage Your Peers

Written by Claire Norburn

Professional Career & Leadership Coach and Mentor helping you get the best out of you and your team.

February 16, 2021


You feel like you’re achieving nothing at work, but is that really true? If you’re in a role that isn’t front-line or fast-paced, with immediately visible outcomes and a ‘to do’ list that you can satisfyingly tick off every day, it can be easy to find yourself struggling to see the value you add.

Is it just you?

In short, far from it. There are many roles in business that either by need or circumstance operate at a slower pace.

Don’t confuse slower with busy. There’s generally more work than you can throw a stick at, but getting things over the line takes longer. Often centres of excellence and niche teams where thinking, researching, designing, and planning sit at the heart.

Whether one style of role is better or worse depends on your personal preference and interest, but we often miss the fact that they need a different approach and a different mindset.

The challenge

If you’re in a role that doesn’t have a constant stream of fast wins, how do you see the value you add?

Where do you find the evidence that you can do it and that you do deliver results when your inner mind chatter is telling you on repeat that you’re out of your depth?

If this is compounded by isolation from remote working or a leader that shares little to no feedback, it’s easy to find yourself in a bleak and miserable place, feeling lost, doubting your capability and your self-esteem in tatters.

This was one of my clients recently, and me a few years ago, so I know first-hand how hard the struggle can be.

See your value

If this is you, here’s what you can do:

Recognise and accept that your role is different

Neither better nor worse, or of more or less value than any other role, just different and involves a slower pace. And importantly that that’s ok.

Check-in on how your inner judge is measuring you (and whether it’s fair)

Make sure you’re not measuring yourself against those fast past, front line roles that either you’ve been in before, or you’re comparing yourself to now. Match your inner success criteria to the reality of what can be done.

Break the big goals down

The smaller the better so you can see progress and tick off the list as you go. Big, hairy audacious goals might sound impressive but in reality, they only serve to be overwhelming and demotivating. Try to focus on just that one next step.

Don’t overlook the small things

Every day you’re making progress and chalking up small wins, whether it’s conversations, packs, plans, or designs, they’re all steps to the end goal, and they all matter. Challenge yourself to notice these at the end of every day/week. The sense of achievement you’ll get from these small wins, will boost your morale, and help you see the value you’re adding.

You’re not on your own

Whatever you do, don’t struggle in silence, talking about it and getting a different perspective on the situation will make a material difference to how you’re feeling and how you’re performing.

If you need some help seeing your value and finding your purpose, get in touch, and let’s have a chat about how career and confidence coaching with me can help.

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