Bells and whistles: value adding for career advancement

Friday, July 17, 2015 - 17:49

Guest post by AIM CEO, Dan Musson

As an 18 year old school leaver, completing an undergraduate degree in Marketing, I found my rhythm early and it’s here I suppose I fostered two realities.

One was that it really didn't matter what product or service you were providing, ultimately that "thing" had to be seen as valuable to an end consumer and the price they were prepared to pay was much more about the perceived value than it was about the input costs to create it.  The other was that I began to see myself as a product and that the price my customer, my employer, was prepared to pay for that was a function of the value I could add for them. 

Upon graduation, to add to my perceived value I immediately joined the Australian Institute of Management which is ironic as 20+ years later I’m now the CEO of AIM Education & Training. Soon after, I enrolled in my MBA as I sought to add additional "features and benefits" and to "differentiate" myself in the market.

Now it might seem a little impersonal to think of a person in this way, but I truly believe it’s vitally important to ponder what your value proposition is for your current or new employer? Or if you’re running your own business, what’s your value proposition to your customers and not just the consumers but your staff?

For me it’s about these three things:

1.Being a brave and bold visionary - not needing everything to be perfect before we try something to make it better, ultimately achieving something we never thought possible.

2.Being values based - I have a personal drive to demonstrate that strong values-based leaders can be more successful, more enduring than those who make decisions without that foundation.

3.By constantly adding features and benefits to the product - In other words keep learning and keep abreast of what’s changing around the world while always being prepared to embrace the ideas and experiences of others.

With so much advice and information available today on how you can add to your features and benefits, I thought I’d highlight some recent research from Graduate Careers Australia. In a survey of 241 employers, respondents were asked to nominate their top three selection criteria for recruiting graduates and the results may surprise some people.

Academic results ranked second amongst 24.3% of respondents followed closely in third place by teamwork skills at 22.4%. What is astonishing is that 48.6% of employers rank communication skills as the most important selection criteria when recruiting graduates.

While some people are natural communicators, others clearly struggle with expressing themselves clearly and taking the above results into account, this could have disastrous results for your employment prospects. The good news is that communications skills can be honed and improved in order to add them to your own personal arsenal of features and benefits.

As the trusted partner for every stage of your career journey, AIM specialises in providing the just-in-time training and development options for improving your personal value proposition.

With courses such as Effective Communication, Public Sector Service Delivery and Communication and Assertiveness Techniques, we have a multitude of options for perfecting the professional communication skills that will enable you to achieve effective business results.

With more than 80 short courses available and 24 qualifications available to study either on-campus or online, AIM has options for enhancing your value proposition, no matter what stage of your career or which industry you work in.

Contact us now at 1300 658 337 or at to find out how you can get a career edge from AIM today.