Negotiating Your Value
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Determining your value – either to a current employer or potentially a new one – is an important part of developing a long-lasting and rewarding technology career.

If you don’t understand how much you are worth, it becomes difficult to ask for the salary or responsibility necessary to grow within your profession. An old saying describes this issue: “You aren’t paid what you’re worth; you’re paid what you can negotiate.”

Here are a few insights on how a company determines the value you provide to their organization. Use these concepts when it comes time for a salary negotiation or any other upgrade to your IT career.

The Science (and Art) of Determining Employee Value

A company’s accounting team is able to accurately measure the various expenses spent on any employee. These include quantifiable information like salary, their benefits package, used office equipment, recruiting/onboarding expenditures, training costs and more. What becomes difficult is taking into account the non-quantifiable value provided by each worker – overall project performance, making their co-workers better – essentially items not typically expressed in dollar amounts.

Successfully navigating this mix of hard data and less tangible information is one of the things separating the consistently productive companies from those merely treading water. Understanding these costs gives you the right insights when it comes time to consider a change to your career.

Finding out Your True Worth

Salary information remains the most obvious piece of data to determine your worth to an employer. Obviously, your technology position and experience level influence what you’re paid. You need to factor in the cost of living at the job location as well – salaries in Silicon Valley are much higher than those in the Midwest!

A variety of online sources publish average salaries for technology professionals, and most also aggregate their data by location. This information serves two purposes. First you are able to verify you are being paid what you’re worth, and second, it can inspire you to take the steps to become qualified for some of the higher-paying roles in the industry.

Ultimately, the bottom line is simple. Make a positive difference for your employer and become an invaluable part of their success. If you don’t feel you are compensated fairly, move on to another firm that truly values your contributions.


Are you looking to advance your IT career with a new job?

Whenever you need additional insights on technology career development, talk to the expert recruiters at The Ceres Group. As one of the leading IT staffing agencies in the Northeast, we know what companies are looking for talented contributors. Connect with us at your earliest convenience or check out our jobs.

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