If you don’t understand your value in the organization, function or marketplace, you’re just diminishing your potential. Not knowing where you stand and what your options are, limits your opportunities, success and ultimately your financial status.
Some professionals make a job move every 1 to 2 years. They may be getting a breadth of experience but miss the depth of learning. Others stay in a job too long and lack broader exposures. Test the marketplace every 18 months to find out where your functional specialty is going, what’s new, where salaries are moving and if there’s a demand or glut for your skills?
Here are a couple of ways to think about your value:
- What’s your contribution to the results of the organization? If it’s subjective, you’re vulnerable
- Your ability to achieve objectives is key. Do you have objectives? What were your results?
- What’s the relationship between your cost of being employed and your productivity?
- Performance is viewed against the organization’s needs. How are you fulfilling those needs?
- Are you in the main stream of the core business or an adjunct support?
- Do you contribute directly to revenue and profit or are you a cost of doing business?
Why do people wait so long to recognize their value and make a career change? Some are just too lazy, others don’t like the unknown, are too comfortable, failed to prepare for the next step and some are not able to answer the question, “Why are you looking to leave?” You can’t know your true value until you get the information from which to assess your potential.
Do your research:
- Every job has a value, dependent upon certain criteria:
- The industry, function, level and responsibilities all determine value
- The size of the company, department, or as an individual contributor vs. supervisor
- Are you at the core or periphery of the business?
- The compensation policies and pay practices of your company should be understood:
- Does your company pay at the 50th percentile? 30th? 70th?
- How are pay grades and ranges determined? Above or below industry averages?
- How do you compare:
- To the same function in the same industry? To competitors?
- To the same function in other industries that are not competitors?
Want to find out where you stand? Ask your boss what you need to do to increase your value. Ask for a more helpful title if money is a problem. An Assistant Manager title is better than a Manager’s Assistant. Put a plan together before your performance appraisal. List your accomplishments in terms of value to the organization. Sometimes a one-time bonus is easier to get than a merit increase.
Your value is directly related to your research, plans and actions. Make it work for you.
Contact Bill Kaufmann with questions or comments: firstname.lastname@example.org
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