It can be difficult to figure out how to add value. Especially if you start out in a new position, or if your role is not defined well.

The good thing is, there are some things you can almost always start doing that will deliver value in some kind of way.

Here they are:

  • Fix problems. Any team, any company, anyone has issues. Practical things you can resolve. Just look around and take care of something, or ask around for problems. From “Yeah, we have this unsorted folder of documents” to “There is this list of ideas that needs to be processed” or “The microwave is broken”: fixing those pesky issues is always valuable.
  • Help anyone. Related to the first one, if you don't know where you can contribute, ask someone for something that has been bugging them for a long time. Just posing the “can I help anyone?” in a standup or team meeting can return things where you can add a lot of value in a short amount of time.
  • Collect ideas (and share them). There is never a shortage of ideas in any team or company. It is always good to be the person that takes a little time to pull all ideas together. Just having a place for ideas can help you and your team to have more impact.
  • Organize and structure. When joining a new team, lots of things are going on. Often unstructured. Even if you're normally not a person to structure things, jumping into this role is almost always beneficial. Don't know what to do? Tidying things up delivers value.
  • Test, proofread, provide feedback. Almost anything can be improved with an extra pair of eyes. Regardless of what you do as a company: fiddling with a new prototype, reading something that was written or providing people with extensive feedback (and telling them that they can do whatever they want with your feedback) can add a lot of value.

Do you have other ideas of adding value?