SALARIES / AUG. 20, 2014
version 3, draft 3

How to Work out What Your Value is as an Employee

happy employees giving hands

Most people tend to worry when the yearly performance review rolls around, and they fear that they may be the first to get fired should the company experience cutbacks this year. You may not be certain of your worth in the company, but you can figure out your value as an employee by following the steps below:

Step 1: Find out what you do -- What do you do for your company? You have your job description, but does your work go beyond your simple title? How big is your client base? Do you play an active part in the growth of the company? Spend some time listing all of the things you do, all of your clients, and skills. You can create a Mind Map of everything to make it easier to see, and once it’s all written out, you can evaluate if what you do goes beyond the purview of your title.

Step 2: Evaluate those around you -- Look at all of the other people that work alongside you, and think about what they do. This isn’t a time to compare workloads or skills, but you need to think about whether or not any of the people around you can replace you. If your skillset is one that all of the others in the company share, keep that in mind when going into your performance review.

Step 3: Find your unique "hook" -- What is it about you that makes you an invaluable part of the team? Is there anything, or are you just one more mindless drone sitting in an office? Find something about yourself that is unique, the "hook" that makes you a person your company simply cannot do without. That unique aspect of you is what makes you a valuable employee.

Step 4: Check out the Office of Personnel Management -- You can find EXACTLY how much you deserve to be paid according to your state by visiting the website of the Office of Personnel Management. There is a list of cities and states, and you can download the information on your city to read what your pay rate should be.

Step 5: Visit the Census Bureau website -- The U.S. Census Bureau website has a lot of information on the average salary you can expect to earn, both according to your state and your industry. Spend some time looking on the website, checking it out to find your actual value according to the industry and state standards.

Step 6: Evaluate your work history -- Have you been working at your company for a long time? How many years? How many years in the current position? Have you been given all good reviews, or have you done poorly at previous pay performance reviews? Are you a flexible, versatile employee who your managers often count on for important tasks? All of these things will need to be taken into account when examining your value as an employee.

Bonus Step: Evaluate cost of living -- Find out what the average cost of living in your city is, and use that as a touchstone to help you evaluate your value. If you know what you NEED to earn in order to live, it will give you confidence to ask for AT LEAST that much in your pay performance review.

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