Knowing Your Value: A Reflection on Athena 2017

By Missoula PowerHouse Maggie Sullivan

As a young woman, being able to volunteer at the Athena Conference in Bozeman, Montana this fall was eye-opening. From the pertinence of the subject matter, to the eloquence of the speakers, to even the sheer vastness of outstanding women that attended the event. For once, I felt secure in my identity as I engaged with these successful women, and the plethora of advice they shared during the conference; however, listening to various presentations, I found myself encountering a similar mantra – of knowing one’s own value in life, specifically as it applies to the professional realm. For someone newly entering the post-graduate workforce, this was something I absolutely struggled with when considering myself.

Of course, everyone has value in one way or another – it’s identifying those individual skillsets that often proves to be challenging. So, how does one ascertain their own value when it comes to employment? While there’s no easy answer, establishing ‘value’ results from not only researching and identifying profitable traits within yourself (i.e. what you bring to the table), but even considering habits you appreciate in others; the more things you can think of, the sooner you can influence personal change to yield a more optimistic presence within professional work-environments. If pondering your ‘value’ still isn’t enough, call on your support systems and mentors – in the words of Eleanor Roosevelt, “Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself!”

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