How to Understand Your Market Value


While there is no such thing as a perfect job (really there’s not), one that offers us respect, engagement and a salary commensurate with our skills and experience can be rewarding. But how do we actually understand our market value? 

Here’s how to determine what your work, experience and skills are actually worth.

Step 1: Build Your Job Description
Build a job description of your role so that you can use it as a point of comparison. 

  • Make a comprehensive list of your responsibilities 
  • Include extras like ad hoc duties, process improvements and anything else that you’re regularly asked to do
  • Make sure to list the requirements for the role including the minimum years of experience needed, specific areas of expertise such as systems knowledge, and any education like a designation required to do the job well
  • Identify challenging areas like communicating with multiple stakeholders, including non-finance people, or having to navigate ambiguity

Step 2: Locate Similar Jobs
Take a look at recruiter websites, or other job search websites such as Indeed to locate jobs that have very similar responsibilities and requirements (you’re looking for about an 80% overlap). Often, salary considerations will be listed at the top of the job posting, or mentioned somewhere within it. If you’re using this information as a point in negotiation, pulling the specific data from various sources will help support your cause. Websites like and can add additional market data.

Step 3: Consider the Employer
There can be variability in salary depending on industry, company size and geographic location. More profitable industries can afford to pay more for an employee and generally larger organizations pay more than smaller organizations. The trade-off for working at a smaller company is greater access to senior level decision-makers and the potential for exposure to other areas of the business.

Step 4: Evaluate Your Performance
Be realistic in evaluating your performance. Are you someone who consistently hits deadlines and receives positive employee evaluations? Are you new to the role and still developing skills? If you’re a more experienced employee, it’s likely that you’re operating with a greater degree of efficiency than a newer hire. This, naturally, increases your worth. Don’t forget to include soft skills such as communication, motivation and teamwork. After all, if you have qualities that are important to your team and organization’s success, that has value.

Key Takeaways
Any conversation about pay should never be an ultimatum, but rather a discussion. It’s important to understand your employer’s pay philosophy – there may be factors you’re not clear on. Similarly, your employer may not understand the true market value of your skills, experience and intangible qualities. Bringing concrete data to the conversation can definitely help your cause. Make sure that you compare the job description you’ve built for your role to ones that are similar to ensure that the data has validity. Consider employer factors in your evaluation such as industry, company size and geographic location. Finally, realistically evaluate your performance. If you’ve consistently hit deadlines and delivered for the organization, taking on leadership roles when asked, or working extra hours, that has value. Fundamentally, understanding your market value allows you to have better discussions about pay increases and potential promotion.

Your Next Step
No one should walk the job search or hiring road alone. At Clarity Recruitment we help others realize their success through a process that marries proprietary technology with unwavering commitment. Contact us today to take control of your career, or to partner with us to hire well.

Clarity Recruitment, connecting exceptional people with remarkable companies.

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