The best professionals know their success has a lot to do with who they surround themselves with. Having others give advice and or look into your career to help you see something you might not be able to see yourself is invaluable.

Kathleen Hessert is the CEO of Sports Media Challenge and a mover in the sports and media business for over 30 years. She's worked with Peyton Manning, Derek Jeter, Shaquille O'Neil, and Pope Francis (just to name a few).

While interviewing Hessert on my podcast, she gave me incredible, must-share advice on what any professional can do to determine if the job they are doing is valuable or valued, because there is a big difference.

"People in any organization can do things that are valuable in some way shape or form to the organization. But if what they do is not valued by people who can mold their future, then they are spinning their wheels. They aren't putting their attention where it should be. You may think what you are doing is valued but if your manager or company leaders don't value what it is you do, you better find a way to convince them what you do needs to be valued."

To net it out, if what you do isn't valued by your boss or company leaders and you can't convince them of it's value, it's a sign you aren't in the right job. All you have to do is ask yourself or ask someone close to you:

"Is what I do at my organization valuable or valued?"

Here are a few ways to tell if you are valued:

You're consistently asked for your opinion

This is one of the easiest ways to tell if what you do is valued. People who aren't valued rarely get asked their opinion about critical decisions. It doesn't mean your opinion is always acted on, but it is certainly part of the consideration. The larger the decisions, the more confident you can be that you are valued by your boss or organizational leaders.

Your job function is a major part of the business

The role you are currently in or have just moved into is near mission critical to the business. Either by the revenue you are responsible for or are contributing to in the future of the organization. As an example, someone working at Amazon who works on Amazon Go Grocery store wasn't a major part of the revenue for Amazon, but now that Amazon has acquired Whole Foods it's evident their role is a major part of the growth strategy.

If you left tomorrow, the company would struggle to find a replacement

A good friend of mine who works at a large bank told me, "It kind of doesn't matter who you are, if you were to leave, they wouldn't miss a beat." While a reality, I don't know any company who wants to find a replacement for someone that is valued. Valued people move the needle in terms of revenue, ideas, customer success, or improving company culture

If you can't relate to any of these scenarios, then you might not be considered valued to your organization. The key here is to not just grind away. Ask yourself are you just "valuable" or can you honestly say you are "valued" by your company?

Published on: Jun 21, 2017
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.