No BS Job Search Advice: What Am I Worth?

What Am I Worth?

If I had a dollar for every time I’m asked that question, I would be wealthier than I am now by a lot. So let me offer you the simple answer and then the more complex answer.

The simple answer is, “I don’t know. Let the market figure it out for us.”

You see the real question being asked is, “How much can you get me?” I understand that and also understand that when I quote a range, you only hear the highest number of the range. Often, people get stuck on that number and cause their career more pain than it needs.

So let me offer a simple way of figuring out your approximate value.

Go to a few job boards and look for job descriptions that read like what you do. Make the job description as focused as possible. Do you see a pattern?

That pattern is your approximate value.

Remember that if you are working under a visa, you will be offered less.

If the experience is not current, you are valued less.

If you are a consultant, trying to enter industry at a staff level, you are OK. If you are a technical consultant whose work is primarily programming and trying to earn $150,000 or more, you are over­priced for most markets. Firms generally pay that salary for people who manage, are involved with the budget process, and lead. They, generally, do not pay that to someone who wants to be doing that and hasn’t done it yet. If you require relocation to do the job you believe you are qualified for, you may need to take a little less.


Ⓒ The Big Game Hunter, Inc., Asheville, NC 2006, 2008, 2016, 2020


JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter
JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1900 episodes, and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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