Know Your Worth: Your Career & Market Value

power-networkingI remember working with 2 professional women with different career backgrounds who quickly achieved significant results in a short period of time.

  • Marketing manager received “on-the-spot” job offer at a networking event/informational interview.
  • Finance associate successfully negotiated a 30% raise after highlighting recent, quantifiable achievements.

What do these stories have in common? Preparation + hard work + understanding of professional value = Success

In both scenarios, these women were more motivated and confident about their skills, experience and qualifications after working with me, so they were able to go after what they wanted with a narrow focus.

I have met too many professional women who want better career success, but who are literally “sitting” on top-notch talents and unique capabilities that they undervalue and underestimate.

  • Have you been in your current position for a long time?
  • Are you holding onto to a distorted view of your true career value?
  • Do you avoid advocating for a promotion, raise or new job opportunity?

Your self-evaluation may surprise you. Even if you are not considering a career change or looking to transition into entrepreneurship, it always helps to know your career and market value.

Here’s how you can get started:

Don’t wait for annual performance reviews to determine your skills’ worth. Make it a practice to peruse new external professional opportunities and compare your career background and experience against your industry colleagues.

— Always quantify your efforts, impact and contributions. There is a big difference between saying “improved monthly report turnaround time” and “increased report turnaround processing time by 70%”

— Solicit objective opinions and hire a career coach if necessary. A lot gets overlooked when you are the primary person reviewing your career progress; get different perspectives (colleagues, mentor, coach, friends) and make a list of the common themes that others see in your background.

— Address and rectify any expertise gaps. If your skills are outdated then you are inefficient in your industry or marketplace. Maximize every learning opportunity so even if your current position requirements change, you are still valuable to your company and other prospective employers.

Like a new home or new car, your executive career can lose its “value” or “worth” if you are not proactively making efforts to improve and upgrade your skills and experience. What’s the market value on your career experience?