How to Determine Your Value as an Employee
Applying & Interviewing

How to Determine Your Value as an Employee

5.5 min read

 

As you negotiate your desired salary with an employer, work towards a promotion, or collaborate with a set of new teams, are you aware of just how valuable you are as an employee?

It can be tough to understand where your value as an employee lies since value doesn’t always correlate with salary. The strongest points to keep in mind when determining your worth as an employee is to build a collection of work experiences, showcase what you can bring to the table, and to familiarize yourself with similar positions and compensation metrics in your job industry.

Document Your Doings

If you want to be a top job candidate and great negotiator, create an ongoing document of everything you do. This involves regularly updating your resume and LinkedIn profile with current job responsibilities, promotions, speaking engagements, developed soft skills, and project accomplishments.

 

16% of employers believe soft skills are more important than hard skills when screening job candidates. Do you know which soft skills employers are looking for?

 

While it’s important to make contributions to your working resume and experiences, it’s crucial to be realistic. It’s easy to spiff up your job title to something a little fancier, list certifications you haven’t completed, or prolong the amount of time you’ve worked for a company – but think twice. Adding lies to your resume will soon catch up to you if you score an interview.

A 2015 survey from CareerBuilder of 2,500 hiring managers, 56% have caught job candidates lying on their resumes. The most common fabrications range from candidates embellishing skills and capabilities, coming in at 62% of candidates, and another 54% have exaggerated the scope of their current or past positions. Just remember, while your professional preface looks good in black and white, your true colors will show in a face-to-face interview.

Scale Your Salary

While different job titles come with various levels of compensation, remember that salaries will fluctuate depending on employee experience, job requirements, geographical location, internal structure, and methods of negotiation.

Whether you’re a first-time intern, jobseeker, or recruiter searching for a realistic compensation benchmark, there’s a handful of salary calculators and industry-related resources that can give you a leg up on where to begin your salary negotiation:

  • com is an updated salary calculator that suits all types of employees. By entering your job title and geographical location, you’ll be given an information chart that represents average salaries for your specific query.
  • Indeed calculates information from a massive data set of 50,000,000 jobs worldwide! You can also check out popular companies, their job listings, and upload your resume.
  • Careerlinks calculator is especially helpful to familiarize yourself with salaries that companies are budgeting!
  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics is a great tool to familiarize yourself with average salaries from across the country. You can also take a look at population statistics, employment cost trends, and statewide wages.

Additionally, network with other professionals in your industry. After all, building a professional network is a fantastic way to stay up to date on your industry’s latest happenings, upcoming job opportunities, and job trainings while building strong, professional connections that offer feedback on how you’re performing in a specific position. It isn’t professional to ask a colleague how much they’re earning, but we can ask:

“Does this salary range sound fair for my kind of job and responsibility?”

“Given my current job title, daily workload, and growth opportunity with a company like this, do you feel I am being compensated fairly?”

“Have you been in a position like mine, with similar experience and compensation?”

To really stay on top of the salary game, building a working relationship with a job recruiter and utilizing the US Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook are both fantastic resources to learn what others in similar positions are earning.

 

How can LinkedIn help determine your worth and build professional networks? With over 433 million global users, LinkedIn is the search engine tool to find, evaluate, and connect with industry professionals.

 

Give Yourself Innovation Time

You’re not just an employee from 9am to 5pm. Your entire professional career is an ongoing representation of your personal success, ongoing career growth, and how well you work with others. Building your value as an employee by taking advantage of additional learning opportunities.

Companies who offer extracurricular learning activities to their staff are increasingly common, but who says learning has to stop once you leave the office? Regardless of your occupation, industry, or job title, one of the key factors in not only building maintaining your value as an employee is to give yourself innovation time. Blog reading, taking part in social media chats, guest blogging, certification courses, and even industry conference speaking gigs provide fantastic platforms to put yourself out there, show what you know, get creative with your thinking, and learn new skills.

Keep Your Options Open

Get this: 43% of hiring managers who responded to a CareerBuilder survey said they’d consider a candidate who had only three of the five desired qualifications for a specific position. If you’re wondering how you can still score the job of your dreams, even if you don’t meet the up-front requirements, the best tips is not to put limitations on yourself.

Career consultant Andrea Kay told Monster.com that “Career paths used to be determined by an employee’s manager; but now it’s something you can design for yourself.”  Keeping your employment options open, but close to your personal goals and expectations, is the key to a successful career path. Instead of saying “no thanks” to a job offer because of the title, location, or vacation time right off the bat, think about what you can gain from the experience:

  • Will I be able to work with a variety of teams?
  • Are educational classes offered through the company?
  • Am I able to travel with the company to expand my knowledge?
  • What kind of opportunity will I have to grow in value not only with the company, but personally

Regardless of where your career path takes you, being able to determine your value as an employee will constantly grow with experience. Always remember the importance of learning as much as you can in every situation, both professionally and personally, and take something away from each experience that will bring you closer to your goal!

Link Up with a Recruiter

It can be tough to find job postings that complement your professional experience and desired job title, but these aren’t the only boxes you should be checking. Create a list of what your “must haves” are when changing jobs, think about your past work experiences, where you see yourself professionally, and contact a job recruiter!

More often than not, recruiters maintain direct connections to hiring managers at various companies – which is an audience you may not be able to get in touch with directly yourself. Recruiters have the inside scoop on sought after talents, valuable candidates (that’s you!), salary rates, career expectations, in-demand skills, and current hiring complexities.

A recruiter’s responsibility is to match the right job candidates with the right positions. Andre Lavoie of Entrepreneur.com shares three benefits of working with a recruiter:

  • Personal Development – Recruiters do more than match candidates with jobs. The recruitment process involves sharpening interview skills, improving resumes, and certifications and trainings that build your worth as a candidate, employee, and working professional.
  • Exclusive Opportunities – Quite a few companies rely on recruiters to advertise their open positions, rather than posting openings on public job boards. This helps to narrow candidate selection groups based off location, formal education, professional experience, and industry.
  • Set New Goals for Yourself – Potential candidates want to know how their value and experience fits into a company, as well as what new skillsets can be developed. From short term to long term, recruiters help jobseekers raise expectations for themselves and recognize past achievements.

 

According to Jobvite, 94% of recruiters are active on LinkedIn, but only 36% of candidates are. Don’t let your next opportunity be a missed click!

 

As you continue to grow throughout your career, from graduating college to entering the workforce, leaving one position to advance in another, and linking with a recruiter to explore new opportunities, remember that your worth is based on much more than experience. Figuring out your value as an employee is one thing. Using it to your advantage when negotiating is another story. By keeping track of your accomplishments, scaling competitive salaries, keeping up with innovation time, and seeking assistance from recruiters, you’ll be able to scale your perception and value with upcoming opportunities.

Get started on your self-evaluation by checking out the latest job postings, link up with a recruiter, and start to brand yourself as a values professional!

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