Money is only one of many currencies to consider when choosing a new role, explains Glynis E. Devine

It was 4 a.m. 

I was breathing heavily, having run from Gate 2 to Gate 99 at the airport in what I was sure was faster than the five-minute mile, with two kids ages 4 and 7 and a handful of snacks and DVDs for a five-hour flight.

I’d done everything possible to avoid this, but what I hadn’t counted on was a blinding snowstorm (notorious in Montreal) that hadn’t been in the weather forecast. It had debilitated the city and the route to the airport to catch my ‘crazy o’clock’ flight to our holiday destination.

“I was sure the Currency Exchange counter was open 24/7!” I explained lamely to my husband.

But… we had no money.

  • No money for on-board alcohol (and yes, I would have had wine at 6 a.m. after the fiasco of a drive to the airport and the marathon to the gate!)
  • No money for on-board snacks
  • No money for welcome cervezas on the bus to the resort
  • No money to tip the ground crew, the shuttle driver, the bellhop, or the bartender when I did finally get a fancy cocktail (complementary, thank heavens!)
  • And no ATM machine at the resort, as some well-meaning flight attendant had indicated

I had no currency for the country we were in.

It took four days (banks are closed on the weekend and it was a statutory holiday on the Monday) before the bank was open. Four days of wearing an apologetic smile and writing IOUs to patient wait staff. It ruined the majority of our seven-day stress-busting sun holiday.

Having the right currency matters

That experience taught me the importance of having the right currency and is the basis of my life’s work.

You’ve likely experienced this first-hand. You landed a job that pays well. You feel like you’re closer to being paid what you feel you’re really worth. You ‘should’ be happy. But it’s just not enough… and you’re not exactly sure why.

If so, you are not alone. 

Today, many administrative professionals see the importance of finding alternate currencies that matter outside of their pay cheque. 

New currencies can appear when you weigh in the value of flexible hours, the chance to do something you love, the ability to work from home (post COVID-19), working with an executive who believes in respect and empowerment, having a cohesive work team, and belonging to an inclusive culture. And these new currencies that appear, when recognized and leveraged, can help you align better with your authenticity and your passion.

Whether you’re currently aware of what they are or not, each of us has a set of core currencies that we value and desire. 

Companies that recognize and leverage the concept of currency-driven performance can attract and grow top talent – like you! – and keep you once you’re in.

Administrative professionals who experience their core currencies at work become more valuable – to themselves, to their employer, to their clients and to all stakeholders.

When you bring your most productive, authentic, and passionate self to work, you’ll experience more energy and creativity, the influence and respect of peers, and more access to new and exciting opportunities.

What can you do today?

Write down some of the currencies that are important to you. As an administrative professional, some of the currencies you may value might include autonomy, curiosity, impact, acknowledgement, contribution, empowerment, compassion, learning, justice, play, flow, and achievement, to name a few.

Ask yourself, what could you NOT live without in your life? Is creativity important? What about collaboration? How important is it to connect with others? When have you felt most successful? Happy? Healthy? Connected? Authentic? Energized about coming to work? Passionate about a project?

Once you have a dozen or so currencies listed, put them in order of importance. Imagine living in a world without that currency – this will help identify which currencies you value most. How much does each matter compared to the others?

Identifying your core currencies at work can help you and your organization succeed!

Glynis E. Devine is the person organizations hire to take their female leaders to the next level. She is the President and Chief Empowerment Officer (CEO) of She-Suite Leaders, an organization of solutionists dedicated to getting more women into C-Suite ... (Read More)

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