The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines value, in two instances, as “a fair return or equivalent in goods, services, or money for something exchanged”, and “relative worth, utility, or importance”.
The key word here, in my opinion, is “relative”. What is valuable for one person may be entirely worthless to another person. Furthermore, value is also dependant on context. An object you find valuable in your workplace may be irrelevant in a personal setting. However, the concept of value is universal. No matter whom you are and where you are, the concept of valuing a service or an object is omnipresent.
Furthermore, what’s important to realize is that valuation principles in your personal life may also apply in your workplace. In your personal life, your surrounding will value you if you make them happy, if you simplify their lives, complement them, or have something to offer them. However, it important to realize that this also applies to the workplace. If your behavior makes your boss’ life difficult, if you become a management challenge, or if you’re seen as a person that radiates negativity, chances are you won’t be valued in the workplace no matter how well you perform and how skilled you may be. After all, even if in the workplace it’s sometimes easy to forget we’re all emotional beings (some places more than others), we are indeed human and sensitive to such factors. Talking from personal experience, to a certain extent, it’s important to come out of this dark little place and step up your game.
There are other factors surrounding the concept of value, and that may be somewhat outside of your control, that can impact your personal and professional life. What happens when your workplace has put you in a position where it is ever more difficult to demonstrate how valuable you are? What happens then?