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We All Have Value

by Heather Martin, VPG Contributor

My husband is a computer programmer; he has been doing it for quite a while, and he is quite good at it. Recently, my daughter's roommate, a computer science major, told my daughter that she thought front end designers were useless. My husband was not amused. He said that while he is good at making the programs do what he wants on the backend, he does not know how to make it look nice for the user. He appreciates the talent and skill it takes to make his code look good. He understands the value of the designers and is grateful for their work.

The same week we had this discussion, a friend of mine who had worked at the same company for nearly two decades realized she was not valued at her company and made the difficult decision to quit a job she had poured her heart and soul into for all those years. Up to the very day she quit, all she wanted from her boss, over even a raise, was an acknowledgment that she was valued. These two experiences, different sides of the same coin, made me wonder if I take the time to appreciate and value those around me.

five people giving a fistbump at work

In an article on, Humaira Roshni discusses the importance of valuing those around us. One major reason to show our appreciation to others is it helps foster stronger, deeper, and more positive relationships. Roshni states that it does not matter if “it’s a family member, friend, colleague, or even a stranger” (Roshni) expressing sincere gratitude creates an uplifting environment where people feel heard and appreciated. The connections we create through valuing others help to create a supportive network for all involved.

This network can also help edify those involved. Showing appreciation means giving compliments sincerely and without an agenda. Showing you value someone boosts their confidence and self-esteem, giving them a sense of validation which we all crave. But more than this, by showing others we value them, “we cultivate a mindset of positivity and learn to see the best in ourselves as well.” (Roshni)

Another remarkable thing that comes from recognizing the worth of others is a more positive work environment. As I personally witnessed, people just want to know what they do matters. We spend a great deal of time each week at work, whether it is in person or connecting remotely. And these interactions can color much of the remainder of our week. The current corporate environment prizes competition over cooperation. We are supposed to see our coworkers as the obstacle to more pay or the corner office. But what if, instead, we saw that we all need each other and only by working together can we achieve our goals? Moreover, I wish more people in charge would get this message. Just simply telling someone they are worthwhile at work will “boost[s] morale, productivity, and overall job satisfaction.”

I am grateful that I currently work for a company which values my input and what I bring to the table. Sometimes, as someone with a more liberal arts mind consulting in a technical world, I wonder if I can keep up with those around me. However I get positive feedback from those I work with, and I know my contribution has merit. And this makes me want to work harder and make sure I complete my projects on time and to the best of my abilities. And I hope to make others around me feel the same.

Roshni, Humaira. “The Power of Appreciation: Why We Should Value and Celebrate Others!” Medium, 5 June 2023

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