3 Steps To Finding Your Edge in the Job Market: On The Ontology of Value® Model.

Last Updated on February 29th, 2024

July 10th 2021

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  • Value rather than many is the primary currency flowing around the job market.

  • To be competitive in the job market, you should start your professional development process from finding your core competencies. 

  • Next, you also need to find your optimal role to play in a team.

  • Lastly you need to find an optimal working environment that will appreciate your value as a professional and let you grow.

The Primary Currency vs the Secondary Currency.

Do you feel that career management is challenging for you? That you didn’t develop your full potential as a professional just yet? That despite your best every single day, you can’t spread your wings?

And, regardless of how much heart and effort you put into your work, you are still undervalued in the job market? That others get promoted faster, and are given more responsibility than you?

Well, if experience this type of resistance in the job market, there is a plausible explanation for it. Namely, you might have low self-awareness in terms of what type of value-builder you are. And you have might low awareness what to do for your professional development.

When we look for jobs, we often think, “How to improve my situation? How to find a job that will pay me more (per hour of my time?)” 

Although this common career management dilemma sounds rational, it can lead to checkmating yourself as a professional. Here is why.

There are, in fact, two currencies floating in the job market: value and money. The market of white collar jobs is a complex ecosystem in which value flows through society like water across the globe. And, money follows this stream of value. In this landscape, we have the value sources, the basins of value, and the pumps (Fig. 1).

How Does Value Flow In Society?

Firstly, we have the value sources: private companies (B), public institutions (P), and freelancing professionals (F). Companies, by design, pool the value produced by their employees (E), process it, and distribute value to their clients (C).

The whole concept of a company started from a clever observation that when you team up in a group of people with compatible skills, the value produced by the group supersedes the value produced by each member separately.

Namely, that one plus one yields more than two. Once the combined value produced by the company for its clients (C) is higher than the value provided to the company by its employees (E), we obtain a profit and the company stays afloat. Similarly, freelancing professionals (F) are tiny value sources that distribute value directly to their clients (C).

And that in this system, the primary currency is value, and the secondary currency is money. In other words, money follows the value—not the other way around.

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Figure 1 The circulation of value (and money) in the society. Both value and money flow in the society like a river. Value always comes first, money follows. The government’s role is redistributing funds from prolific value sources to the areas of the job market that need financial supply (non-profits and individuals who do not create profitable value at the moment). G: the government. P: public institutions. B: businesses. D: the disabled. R: retirees. U: the unemployed. F: freelancers. E: employees. C: clients. Green: value. Red: money.

Career Management Step #1: Find Your Core Competencies.

Well, this question should be self-explanatory by now! To improve on your career management and find the sweet spot in the job market where you will best develop yourself, you need to figure out where and how you can produce the most value, working also on your professional development.

What does this mean in practice? Well, there are three components to it (Figure 2). Firstly, you need to find your core competencies. Watch out: these competencies don’t necessarily need to have much to do with the professional activities that you are spending the most time on at work!

Core competencies relate to your biggest strengths, unique capabilities and activities most joyful to you. They are the combination of skills, knowledge, expertise, talents that you have developed over time and that your competitors cannot reproduce easily – as these skills are typically the result of your investment in yourself, training, your professional and personal  development and other initiatives completed in the long run.

Core competencies can be those of your talents that you would never place on your resume, such as “the ability to listen,” “strong work ethic,” or “the ability to learn something new in every situation, even while standing in a queue to a grocery store.” Core competencies will give you a competitive advantage in the job market.

It’s not necessarily what you communicate to the hiring manager in the recruitment process – it’s what you know about yourself, and what helps you make career decisions and build your career path.

Career Management Step #2: Find The Right Role To Play.

Secondly, you need to know what is your preferred role toward other people, or, in other words, your value-building profile. You already know what you enjoy doing at work—but in what role? Are you a type of a role model? Or rather, a highly-specialized problem-solver? Or perhaps, a contributor that prefers to solve problems in teams and build projects from the back seat?

As a matter of fact, as a hard-working and intelligent person, you have a free choice of which roles to choose, but in some of them, you will naturally perform better than in others – as they better fit your work style, personality, values and strong work ethic. Please find more information related to this topic in our article “How To Find the Right Role To Play in the Team“. 

Also, most white-collar jobs will require juggling multiple roles. The whole difficulty is to develop a strong work ethic and find a position where the portfolio of roles that you need to play well corresponds with your natural potential.

Please also find more information dedicated to discovering your profile as a value builder in the blog post “How Do We Build Value in the Job Market? Alfred Adler’s Theory and How You Can Profit From It.”

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Career Management Step #3: Find Your Flock.

Lastly, you need to figure out where in the job market the people who think like you are. Or, in other words, your flock. Let’s say that you are good at data analysis and you prefer to work as a specialist.

Even knowing this fact about yourself, your quality of life as a professional might vary depending on whether you choose to work in a corporation, a consultancy company, or a startup.

Or perhaps, you decide to launch your own business. You will only be appreciated in an environment where others share your values, your strong work ethic, and your attitude to life and work. Please also find more information dedicated to looking for your tribe in the blog posts “Finding Your Flock As a PhD” and “Safety vs Freedom: The Landscape of Post-PhD Careers.”

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Figure 2 The Ontology of Value® Model for building your professional fingerprint (or, professional ID). To effectively self-navigate in the job market, you need to build your self-knowledge on three pillars: (1) Your profile as a value builder. (2) The knowledge about the working environments (a.k.a. tribes) where you fit best given your work style, personality, and values. (3) Your core competencies.
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Are you planning to upgrade your career to the next level or change your career path? Are you pondering your options? Don’t be alone in the process – join us at our live online Ontology of Value® Career Mastery Program!

At this intensive online training, you will focus on discovering your identity as a professional, and learn effective career development strategies for landing great jobs.

We will help you choose the right career path, assist you in landing your new job, and teach you self-navigation strategies that will guarantee your success in professional development, and serve you for a lifetime!

Please find all the information about our incoming, game-changing program here:

Please cite as:

Bielczyk, N. (2021, July 10th). 3 Steps To Finding Your Edge in the Job Market: On the Ontology of Value® Model. Retrieved from https://ontologyofvalue.com/career-management-for-professionals-with-strong-work-ethic-how-to-find-your-edge-in-the-job-market-in-three-steps/

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