Know Your Worth: Compensation Negotiation


As I contemplated my next career move, I knew it was important to know my worth in the market. In a sense, the concept was foreign to me since I had worked 27 years in engineering for the public sector. In securing that job, the only thing that was negotiated was the time of employment.

My desire to have a second career outside of engineering into academia drove me to get meaningful experience as an adjunct professor. Of course, I felt my core competencies were strong as a professor. I had about ten years in academics working part-time. Yet, I also knew that obtaining a full-time tenure track would be highly competitive due to the limited amount of these treasured positions and the number of applicants. 

I personally knew of qualified business professors who could not obtain a full-time faculty position. To increase my marketability, I continued to secure new skill sets and to follow market trends. One of the biggest trends working for me was that many institutions were looking for new faculty who had demonstrated working experience.

Yet, in order to determine my worth, I had to actively apply for academic positions and go through the interview process. With every interview, each prospective employer provided me with a missing piece of my market worth. However, I got this insight by being assertive by asking meaningful questions like “what part of my application package attracted you to me as a candidate.”  

This transparency was contagious. One dean even told me my prospective rank (i.e. salary) in his organization. All of these pieces were critical in helping me negotiate my final position as a full-time faculty because I understood my worth in the marketplace.

In today’s competitive environment, working professionals need to know their worth so that they can be compensated appropriately and they can market themselves toward better jobs. In fact, professionals need to know how to market themselves and promote their personal brand in order to maintain their market worth. Downsizing and layoffs are a way of life for most U.S. businesses.

In the 1980s, downsizing was a watermark moment as the social contract between employer-employee was broken. Seniority and loyalty were not a hallmark of workers being able to keep their jobs. What started out as an isolated downsizing in the blue-collar ranks soon explored into white-collar jobs, including middle management, engineers, accountants, lawyers, and other professional workers.  Suddenly, no one was safe. During this timeframe, some of the biggest businesses participated in these layoffs, including General Motors, AT&T, IBM, Delta Airlines, and Eastman Kodak.[1]

In order to stay competitive in the global market, companies seek to cut costs and utilize advanced technologies for greater efficiencies. Downsizings, regardless of what it is called (rightsizing, restructuring, re-engineering), means a reduction in the workforce. Someone is going to lose his/her job. In fact, workers on the front lines see these hints of organizational changes as more layoffs ahead.

According to the 2016 report by outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, domestic companies planned to let go of 65,141 workers. In the first four months of that year, employers planned to hand out 250,061 pink slips.[2] The energy sector was the biggest driver of downsizing among U.S.-based companies. This article examines how working professionals can determine their worth. Individuals can apply this concept to creating value for your current or future employer in order to obtain better employment and compensation.

Working professionals must create value for current and future employers if they want to maximize their worth. Value can be defined as ‘what the customer gets in exchange for what the customer gives.’ Paul Peter and James Donnelly, Jr., author of Marketing Management, argue, “A customer’s perception of the value associated with a product is generally based both on the degree to which the product meets his or her specifications and the price the customer will have to pay to acquire the product.

Negotiation Video

Furthermore, Paul Peter and James Donnelly, Jr., author of Marketing Management, suggested the critical need for understanding value creation. They argue, “A customer’s perception of the value associated with a product is generally based both on the degree to which the product meets his or her specifications and the price the customer will have to pay to acquire the product.”

In an employer-employee relationship, value can be equated with how much benefit an employee provides his/her employer. This value runs across a sliding compensation line. Workers who are perceived to contribute more obtain more compensation. Getting hired for a job means having the basic skill competencies to perform a job.

Varying workers have different and stronger core competencies than others. Over time, employers look to compensate workers who distinguish themselves from their co-workers. With that said, professionals who can solve employers’ problems that the employers care about can enjoy maximizing compensation. Thus, value creation must also be a strategic component of maximizing one’s worth. With the threat of getting laid off constantly before them, professionals need to understand the merits of creating value in the workplace. 

In employment negotiations, working professionals, who know their worth and can show value to their future employers, will obtain the biggest compensation. Your current employer has been working you to death. You don’t think it is fair. How do you know? Have you talked to others in your field?

Have you discussed with your employer? Do you even know how to ask for more money or to be compensated better? Most people don’t know how. According to PayScale’s study, 57% of respondents said that they would never negotiate salary in their current field. Yet, 75% of them who asked received an increase. Many individuals complain about their job situation, but many do not go beyond the complaints.

Some folks will approach an employer demanding more money and compensation without doing their homework or evaluating their own worth in the marketplace. Without knowing your worth, it’s impossible to effectively negotiate any compensation package. If you do not know your worth, you may be underselling your compensation.  Negotiations can include salary, bonuses, parking costs, stock options, benefits, perks, vacation time, and many other items.

Professionals need to do their research. Compensation negotiation is not about what you need. It is not about what you deserve. Compensation negotiation is really about showing your current or future employee the value that you bring to an organization. With that said, the best negotiation position for professionals is to know what the market will bear for their skills, education, and work experience. One excellent tool for calculating worth found using the PayScale Salary Survey where participants can obtain a free salary report based on employment marketability.

Additionally, has a free salary calculator called “Know Your Worth.” This salary calculator will determine how much you could earn in today’s job market.[3] Allison Doyle, author of the article “Salary Negotiation Tips (How to Get a Better Offer),” maintains it is important to know how much the job is worth before starting salary negotiations.

In taking this additional time, professionals can land a job offer that is realistic. Doyle notes, “The most productive salary negotiations occur between people who realize that they have a common goal: to get the employee paid appropriately for their skills and experience. Negotiations needn’t be adversarial, and no one has to get aggressive. If you’re a reluctant negotiator, it might help to keep in mind that you’re on the same side.” Below are some tips for compensation negotiations:

  1. Know your worth in the job market.
  2. Do your homework on this employer. How do you create value?
  3. Seek advice from others who have gone through negotiation with this employer.
  4. Determine your personal objectives for compensation negotiations.
  5. Set expectations high but realistic.
  6. Define your desired results.
  7. Anticipate the employer’s objections/opposition.
  8. Prepare alternatives/options for the employer.
  9. Pick the right time for negotiations.
  10. Practice your negotiation presentation.
  11. Learn from this negotiation experience. 

In today’s competitive environment, professionals evaluate their worth so that they can be compensated appropriately. Knowing how to market and promote their personal brand can ensure business professionals’ maximum worth in the marketplace.

Companies are looking for employees who can add value to their bottom-line. Those employees who are absorbed with the ‘me’ mindset might find themselves in an endless battle to keep their jobs with businesses shedding themselves of excess labor baggage.

Downsizing and layoffs are here to stay in the near future. No one is exempted from these personal threats on employment, regardless if you are a blue or white-collar worker.  This article demonstrated that today’s business professionals are at a competitive advantage when they understand their own market worth.

In fact, they make themselves indispensable by creating value for your current or future employer in order to obtain better employment and compensation. Employees who are dissatisfied with their compensation packages need to be assertive in their own career path. Individuals who research their own market value empower themselves toward being successful. With that said, effectively negotiating this worth to current and future employers is really what will matter in the long run. Pray that this action is not too late.

© 2018 by Dr. Daryl D. Green

Please share your insight on this specific subject.

[1]“Downsizing and Rightsizing” by

[2]“US job cuts rise to 65,141 in April” by Tom DiChristopher

[3] “Know Your Worth” by


50 thoughts on “Know Your Worth: Compensation Negotiation


    “In business, as in life, you don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate” – Chester L. Karrass. I believe this quote rings true in many situations because in actuality we negotiate far more often than we realize. Though they may be small things but bargaining with a friend or significant other for who gets the remote or who takes out the trash can take some negotiation skills. Determining what your worth to your current or potential employer can really take some skill thus, negotiating with them is paramount in discovering what you’re experience and skills are really worth in the market place. The good news is you don’t have to be born with these skills, they can be learned. In the article “The case for self-made negotiators” Laura Kray, professor at the University of California, Berkeley Haas School of Business and her colleagues completed a study that began by informing half of the participants that negotiation skills can be learned and the other half were told that negotiation traits were inherited. The participants then performed the exact same business negotiation and it turns out that the people who were led to believe that negotiation skills can be learned performed much better than those who thought you had to be born with the skills to be good at them.
    (WC – 212)

    Masters of negotiation: born this way? (n.d.). Retrieved January 22, 2018, from

    • Clinton,
      You stated, “Determining what your worth to your current or potential employer can really take some skill thus, negotiating with them is paramount in discovering what you’re experience and skills are really worth in the market place”. I agree with your thoughts on negotiating. You may know your worth, but you need to be able to communicate it to others as well. Before you even ask to speak with your employer, it’s helpful to know the 3 main steps in doing so: prepare, have a clear idea of what you want, and be flexible (Doyle, 2017). Then, request a meeting with your supervisor to discuss salary. Also, the study you mentioned done by the University of California, Berkeley was very interesting. It’s crazy how much of what we do I determined by what we think! The mind is a powerful tool!
      [WC – 143]
      Sabrina Stegman

      Doyle, A. (2017, Aug 23). Salary Negotiation Tips: How to Get a Better Offer. Retrieved from The Balance:

    • Clinton

      I agree with your statement, “Though they may be small things but bargaining with a friend or significant other for who gets the remote or who takes out the trash can take some negotiation skills.” It may seem simple but negotiating is definitely a skill set and with all skill sets practice makes perfect. I have seen people who were exceptional negotiators as well as people who understood the concept but would have been better off to not say anything. Coming prepared to the meeting with your homework done is only one piece of the puzzle, so much more needs to be considered to negotiate with an outcome that your employer and you can agree to. In my experience emotional awareness is one of the key pieces that anyone must have to be successful, while a negotiation on contentious issues can be frustrating, allowing emotions to take control during the meeting can lead to unfavorable results. ( Kelchner ) The other skillsets in negotiation can be lacking but negotiating with someone who cannot control their temperament is not only difficult but can result in really poor outcomes.
      Carmon McCulley
      [ 187 ]

      Kelchner, L. (n.d.). Top Ten Effective Negotiation Skills. Retrieved January 24, 2018, from

    • Hi, Clinton!

      I agree with your quoted statement, “In business, as in life, you don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate” – Chester L. Karrass. I was raised in an extraordinarily religious home, and one of the tenets we were taught was that we would get what we deserved. I believed this for a great deal of my life, unfortunately. I actually still battle this. I expect to be treated the way I treat, I expect to receive what I have earned, I expect a return of emotion equal to what I have invested. However, this is not actually the way of the world– at least not in an immediate reaction.
      Instead, as Mr. Karrass states, we get what we negotiate. This applies in business, in relationships, in life. This is why it is so incredibly important that we know our worth. For example, if one believes they deserve poor treatment and/or have no intrinsic worth, and you navigate your relationships accordingly, one will, in fact, get treated as if they are worthless. Every action we allow, in all situations, truly does teach those around us how to treat us; this is a form of negotiation.

      wc: 196

      Masters of negotiation: born this way? (n.d.). Retrieved January 22, 2018, from

      • I attempted to edit that reference entry. It should be:

        “Masters of Negotiation: Born this Way?”


    I 100% agree with the importance of knowing one’s market worth. With the uncertainty of the future, it is critical for professionals to evaluate themselves so they can gain a competitive advantage in the workforce among employers. When discussing this subject, the first thing that comes to mind is a grading curve. Think about it as if the course is your employer, and your score on the test is your value or market worth. The higher you score or rank compared to your peers, the more successful you will be in the class. Your value in the marketplace is decided by your skills, work experience, education, i.e. compared to other business professionals. You can find your market worth by using several different tools, but one way to do it manually is to calculate actual statistics to prove your past record of performance (Professional Alternatives, 2015). However, if you do not know your own worth, it is impossible to know where you stand in the overall marketplace. And, if you don’t know your own worth, how do you expect anyone else to? That’s just it – they won’t.

    Professional Alternatives. (2015, May 8). How to Determine Your Market Worth . Retrieved from Professional Alternatives staffing solutions:

    [WC – 190]

    Sabrina Stegman

    • Sabrina,

      Thanks for your contribution to this discussion! Your point is well-taken: “…if you do not know your own worth, it is impossible to know where you stand in the overall marketplace.”

      Should a person depend on his/her employer to determine his/her worth in the marketplace or what?

      Dr. Green

      • Dr. Green,

        An employer is not responsible for creating an individual’s self-worth in the marketplace. It is fully your own responsibility to understand your value in the market, and to continue to improve and increase that value!

      • Dr Green

        I would argue the answer is absolutely not. Good examples are military serviceman, so many retire and move into the private sector and have no idea of their market value due to the nature of the military pay system. I know an operations manager who retired from the Airforce, he left the military and took the first offer given to him as it was a clear increase from what he had been paid for the past 20 years. He did not realize he was undercut by 35-40% over others in the same position. His employer valued him but undercut him because they knew they could, his value was definitely higher than he was paid and only after he left was he able to adjust to the market.

        In some areas of the country this would seem absurd but it happens. There is a fairly massive gap in civilian vs military from attitudes to normal daily life expectations. ( Ricks 1997 ) The ability for any hiring manager to assign value to a person and their abilities can’t be the end all you have to dig, ask the hard questions, and determine your value with information so you know your value.

        Carmon McCulley


        Ricks, T. E. (2017, October 23). The Widening Gap Between Military and Society. Retrieved January 24, 2018, from

      • Carmon,
        Well said! You made a compelling case!

        Yet—I feel stronger having the key knowledge about myself.

        If you know your worth, you can better be positioned for negotiations.

        Let’s go deeper!
        Dr. Green

      • Dr. Green,
        As the others have said I do not think a person should depend on his/her employer to determine his/her worth, but I also think it is important for a potential employee to understand the difference between ‘Worth’ and ‘Value’. “Your worth is the amount of money you expect to receive for your level of training and experience. Your value is the strengths and the contributions you will bring to the position and to the organization” (Worth vs. Value in Job Negotiations, 2016.) Doing proper research to be able to match your believed worth to the organizations believed value of you will help it be a win-win scenario for both parties. However, the more justification you provide for matching your believed worth to your potential employees value of you will help raise your salary potential.

        (WC – 136)

        Inside Higher Ed. (n.d.). Retrieved January 26, 2018, from

      • A person should certainly NOT depend on his or her employer to determine his or her worth in the marketplace. If I followed that concept, I would find myself utterly worthless in my marketplace. It is no secret that the State of Oklahoma, or at least her legislators, find all teachers less than worthwhile. They want to sing our praises and pretend to have a vested interest in our well-being, but obviously, they do not.
        Instead, I choose to put my marketplace worth in the ways in which I affect lives. I have literally made about $2400 a month for the last 10 years, regardless of my experience, my stellar test scores, my 1st masters degree, and so forth. However, in contrast, in the last 15 years I have lead approximately 1300 students to find a higher sense of self-worth, a better chance at choosing success, and higher rate of positive citizenship, and a deeper value of humanity. My monetary marketplace value might not be so grand, but having contributed to the lives of so many, I value as a human is quite high.

        wc: 186

    • Sabrina,
      I agree with your view of how critical it is for professionals to evaluate themselves so they can have a competitive advantage in the market place. The current market workforce is very competitive and employees have to ensure they stand out in order to get the desired position or advancement. One of the skills employees can equip themselves with is be aware of and assess their employability skills. The employability skill Assessment Tool is one assessment that was developed using the Kepner-Tregoe (K-T) method. The main seven employability skills include; interpersonal skills, thinking skills, personal qualities/values, resource skills, system & technology skills, basic skills and informational skills(Rasul et al., 2012). It is therefore crucial to know where one ranks in the market so as to know their value and what they can accept for compensation.
      Rasul, M. S., Abd Rauf, R. A., Mansor, A. N. and Puvanasvaran, A. P. (2012) ‘Employability skills assessment tool development’, International Education Studies, 5(5), pp. 43–56. doi: 10.5539/ies.v5n5p43.

  3. Own Your Earning Potential

    One of the most exciting and stressful moments during a job search comes between the words, “we want to offer you the job,” and “for the salary of ______.” It can be either a very exciting or upsetting moment when you hear your potential employer’s first offer. However, roughly 60% of employers leave room in the first offer for salary negotiations (Loeb, 2006). A person’s earning potential can be directly correlated to your perceived value to your potential company and your future development. Brian Tracy says that, “By engaging in continuous self-improvement, you can put yourself behind the wheel of your own life.” If you wish to grow your earnings, invest in your own development.

    Marshall Loeb, M. (2006, September 3). Don’t be afraid to negotiate salary. Wichita Eagle, The (KS).

    Tracy, B. (2016). Increasing Your Earning Potential. American Salesman, 61(8), 3.

    [WC- 147]

      • Dr. Green, Confidence is a must to good negotiations. I mentioned this in my reply to Candis, but for me when I have confidence because I have researched and can clearly communicate my position in negotiations, often times the outcomes are much more favorable for me. I think the biggest losses I have had in negotiations have come when I am not as versed in a particular case.

    • Jesse,

      You closed by saying, “If you wish to grow your earnings, invest in your own development.” I could not agree with you more. As the famous saying goes, you are the pilot of your own life. In an article in Forbes magazine, it suggests if you want to increase your market worth, think of yourself as a ‘product’, and search for ways to ‘upgrade’ yourself every year (Quast, 2013). If you don’t invest in yourself, nobody else will either. In order to be successful in any aspect of your life, you need to know where you stand so you can find ways to further improve. John Maxwell, a renowned public speaker and leader, says “The secret of your success is determined by your daily agenda.” If you want to be successful and increase your market value, you need to be sure you are striving for growth every single day.

      [WC – 150]

      Sabrina Stegman


      Quast, L. (2013, Jun 24). To Increase Your Value, Think Of Yourself As A ‘Product,’ And ‘Upgrade’ Yourself Every Year. Retrieved from Forbes :

    • Owning Your Earning Potential
      Jesse, I agree the moment of excitement when given the opportunity to start another challenge in your life by expanding self worth in a new position. The process of searching for a new position is looking at the pay scale first to delay the error of disappointment. One awkward moment can last a moment but getting the courage to talk about the pay scale can help enjoy the position in the long run. I agree with your point we are in charge of our life by taking the wheel. Dr. Green book, Writing For Professionals 2nd Ed (page 94.), “With millions of people searching for full-time employment, it pays to stand-out among the crowd by building a unique set of indispensable skills”. Every candidate achievements is their passion for self improvements to stand out to the earning potential. (137)

      Green, Dr. Daryl D. (2016) Writing For Professionals: The DefinitiveHandbook for Gaining More Influence (2nd Ed.). Reference Writing (pg. 94)., Middletown, DE

  4. “You can’t manage what you don’t measure” – Peter Druker. This is and old management adage that today remains truthful. While working on definition of yourself as a worth product for the job market, firsthand people have to define their comparable and complete a benchmark to define what the top talent is gauging, with that in consideration you have better definition of your value or in this case your measure against a reference point.
    What you measure is as important as how you measure, it is natural that individual will want to be at the top range of the value in the job market, making a rational comparison with top qualified professional remain key to strive for the best. Only evaluating where they are positioned against the greatest will help to identify the gap between current worth and distinguished, hereafter the opportunity to identify what the individual is missing to be in the top of the scale and those who act diligent closing the gap will have better chance succeeding in negotiating the extreme. Lastly “The attitude you bring to a negotiation has a direct impact on the result you get” adversely negotiation do bring less that problem solving negotiation.



    Peter Drucker. (n.d.). Retrieved January 24, 2018, from Web site:

    Diamond, S. (n.d.). Getting More: How You Can Negotiate to Succeed in Work and Life. The Crown Publishing Group.

  5. Negotiating in an Employee Favored Market

    In today’s job market it can be daunting to consider salary negotiations. As an interviewee or interviewer the market environment has to be considered, in my market, the Utah market, the unemployment rate is currently at 3% so employees are in favor in this scenario. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018) As a manager I have to consider my options when negotiating with potential employees, paying what is the norm for a high value/high skill person in Utah requires putting a strong offer at the start. An interviewee in this position has the ability to get premium pay for their skillset, assuming the value position of the person is strong and the manager understands their potential.

    In a market like Utah’s I have to sell to the potential hire. Liz Ryan puts it well, “It’s easy to sell a job candidate. All you have to do is ask questions, the same way a savvy job-seeker will ask you questions about what you’re up against in your job and where you could use help’. (Ryan 2014) I want the best person for the job so I weigh their value but after I get a good idea of who they are I sell that position in hopes of finding a key partnership.

    Carmon McCulley
    [ 209 ]

    Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018 State Employment and Unemployment Summary. (2018, January 23). Retrieved January 24, 2018, from

    Ryan, L. (2014, August 15). How (And Why) To Sell Your Job Opportunity to Job Candidates. Retrieved January 24, 2018, from

    • Carmon, you said, “I have to consider my options when negotiating with potential employees, paying what is the norm for a high value/high skill person in Utah requires putting a strong offer at the start,” however many employers have a strict no negotiating policy. When you step into a job under this theory you know where the salary starts and your raises are earned by merit and time in position. By not allowing negotiations, it puts all employees on even footing. Bill Balderaz says, ““Some people are better negotiators than others, and that does not necessarily translate to the quality of [their] work (Sammer, 2015). Negotiating can be a very valued skill for an employee, but not all jobs require that skill.

      Sammer, J. (2015). TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT: Should Salary Discussions Be a One-Way Street?. HR Magazine, 60(7), 34.

      [WC – 142]

  6. Drive it Like You Stole It

    Being a teacher, especially in Oklahoma, leaves little room for salary negotiations. What we earn is state-based, generally, and open to public knowledge. This is not a drop of wiggle room. However, when I was young, my grandfather taught me an interviewing nugget: Interview like you own the company.

    This means walking into the office, head high, appropriately dressed, and well-spoken. He wanted me to interview, cross-interview, and negotiate with the confidence of a seasoned attorney. Out here in the country, we keep it short and sweet: Drive it like you stole it.

    Interestingly, one actually cannot “drive it like they stole it” without one integral piece: confidence. Confidence is absolutely invaluable. The lack thereof renders the driver impotent and unable to score the job, much less attempt to define their worth in a salary discussion. Further, “research shows that, on average, interviewers reach final decisions about applicants in only four minutes after meeting them. In this time there is little more to evaluate than how you look and speak, how you carry yourself, and how you greeted the interviewer, all clear clues of your level of self-confidence” (Efron, 2018).

    wc: 196

    Efron, L. (2013, December 23). Get That Job! Nine ways to Interview With Confidence. Retrieved January
    24, 2018, from

    • Candis,
      I really thought hard on the phrase “Drive it Like You Stole It.” When I first read this, I took it as meaning an air of confidence mixed with a sense of recklessness. But I see where it is to mean, short and sweet, get to the point, as you later explained. This is a good point, first impressions matter, and you can only have one first impression. I was taught that you should also be concerned with how you greet and interact with the secretary when you arrive at the office; they are truly the first one to meet you and will most likely be asked for their input about you too. Also I think there are certain areas where we can negotiate that do not have to deal with salary. For instance suggests negotiating for more vacation time, tuition reimbursement, flexible schedule, and transportation allowance, among other things. Keeping these in mind during future interviews might give leverage when the salary becomes cemented to a specific number.
      (WC – 171)

      10 Things You Should Negotiate Other Than Salary. (n.d.). Retrieved January 24, 2018, from

    • Candis, I really love that you connected good negotiating to confidence. I get the opportunity to negotiate every day with personal injury lawyers to settle injury claims pre-litigation. I have found a strong correlation between my confidence in negotiations and a favorable settlement for my company. I have also found a strong correlation between my confidence and the amount of work and research that I have done on that particular case and my ability to communicate my position. A mix of research and confidence can allow you to convince the party you are negotiating with to accept your price by providing reasonable justification (Gitomer, (2017). Confidence in negotiation is a must, but it comes with hard work.


      Gitomer, J. (2017). When it comes to dealmaking, lack of confidence will cost you. Grand Rapids Business Journal, 35(21), 9.

      [WC – 138]

  7. Glass Ceiling Profession
    What a person’s worth is ever changing in today’s market? This environment changes from day to day. Building up a person’s education level, specialized experience skills, and negotiated a pay increase is key for receiving the most out of a career.
    My current job profession can be considered a glass ceiling position. My job is with a sovereign Native American Tribe and the elected official positions in the tribe change every two years. With this set up, a person who is trying to keep their position can be at the mercy of the tribal landowners and the elected officials and if they are satisfied with the work you have done. Keeping a resume on hand and up-to-date is important to stand out from other competitive professionals by changing the ongoing trainings with knowledge of experiences with the current position.
    Although no one person is safe from layoffs or replacement, by showing the company that skills and service are what the company needs to be successful, as the professional, make it harder for them to replace you. [179]

    • Colleen,
      You stated: “Although no one person is safe from layoffs or replacement, by showing the company that skills and service are what the company needs to be successful, as the professional, make it harder for them to replace you.” I read this article about becoming irreplaceable. I strive to arrive early and leave late but that doesn’t ensure a job. Even being likeable does not guarantee a position in the company. Voogd stated: “It’s often said, you work 9-to-5 for survival, everything after is the real investment in your future.” These five practical steps are worth applying to our work places.
      Voogd, P. (2014, July 23). 5 Fail Proof Ways to Become Irreplaceable.
      General Format. Retrieved from

      • Christina, I agree that being the ideal employee doesn’t always ensure a good job or that you will keep that good job. Uncontrollable circumstances can also, play a big role in getting and keeping your job. “Being indispensable also puts you in a comfort zone because you wont have to worry as much about losing your job” (Smith, 2013). Most individuals, for the most part, do not want to be the employers alternative choice, but to be appreciated for what you as an individual bringing to the company. I guess what I am saying is simple being regarded as a valued employee. A valued employee is a productive employee, and he or she will strike to do their very best for the interest of the company. (WC 123)
        Smith, Jacquelyn (2013). 17 Way To Be Indispensable at Work. Retrieved from

  8. I would like to think of worth and value as two different things. When I get my MBA degree from OBU that will assert what I am worth. The question is does that automatically translate to creating value at my current job in my current position. Dr. Green mentioned researching to know your own worth to effectively negotiate a compensation package. I would go one step further and also determine how my worth can align with the value I can create at the workplace before effectively negotiating a compensation package. Matrone (2016) in his article, “Worth vs. Value in job negotiations” explains “To earn your worth, negotiate your value. In a negotiation, to earn your worth, you must emphasize your value.” This is extremely relevant because if I want a raise based on my MBA degree and what I am worth with it, my boss has the right to ask me how it creates value with what I do at the workplace. If I don’t emphasize this value that I, with my MBA degree can bring to my job, I am not going to be effective in negotiating a good salary even if I have an advanced degree.

    Matrone, M. (2016). Worth vs. Value in Job negotiations. Retrieved from “”

    WC 198

    • Kapil,

      I love that you have approached this from the standpoint that your worth and value are two separate ideas, yet they are directly correlated when your skills are relevant for your position. Knowing your market worth is immensely important in negotiation, yet worth from the viewpoint for the company is hinged upon the how much value you are predicted to add. In the article you cited Matrone advised, “Clearly state the various strengths and contributions you will bring to the organization and how each justifies your worth”(Matrone, 2016). With an MBA your market value will increase, but you are already working so demonstrating that your furthered education has added strengths that will benefit your employer will be a key factor in renegotiating your post MBA worth.

      [W.C. 130]
      Matrone, M. A. (2016, August 8). Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved January 26, 2018, from

    • Kapil,
      I really like your analysis regarding worth and value, in this market employees and job candidates are getting competitive. “Excelling in academics serves as a solid foundation, but business schools is geared towards real-world professionals outcomes” (Hayes 2016) According to Hayes on his article you are increasing your value by working and going to school for your MBA, Furthermore, “having an MBA won’t make a candidate stand out if they’re already flawed in other ways” As a students and professional we cannot only focus on academics but being clever, agile and quick to adapt and learn will support the value proposition that MBA’s holders can carry as added value.

      WC [109]

      Hayes A. (2016) When is an MBA worth it? Retrieved from “”

  9. Have you ever been nervous going into a job interview? I bet we all have. Today’s job market calls for being able to promote yourself with confidence. Having work experience and a college degree is not necessarily enough today to land your dream job. You have to know your worth coming into the job interview.
    Once you land your dream job, you want to be successful at it, and earn a raise. As Carla Harris says, “you need to think through why you think you deserve the raise”. You should have a strong argument ready, as wells as a number in your head which you cannot accept and one you would accept. Knowing your worth is important as it will keep you motivated to strive to be even better at your job.
    WC [132]
    Reference: Carla Harris: What you need to know to successfully negotiate at work

    • Vedrana,
      You stated: “Have you ever been nervous going into a job interview? I bet we all have. Today’s job market calls for being able to promote yourself with confidence. Having work experience and a college degree is not necessarily enough today to land your dream job.” Even achieving your masters is not an automatic pass either. Jackson stated: “And 17.4 percent of Masters graduates found themselves six months after graduating either unemployed or stacking shelves.” What a harsh reality! Pursuing higher education has to be a decision that will be gratifying no matter the success in finding the ‘dream job’.
      Jackson, N. (2007, June 13). A new survey reveals that students with a Masters don’t always get the jobs they expect. General Format. Retrieved from

    • Vedrana, as you mentioned, when you negotiate for a raise or fair compensation the important question you need to address if why you deserve a raise or higher pay. I think this is where people get nervous during interviews or negotiations because a lot of people are not willing to or are too nervous and lack the confidence to communicate why they deserve what they ask for. Oftentimes people associate sharing accomplishments to prove they deserve higher wage with bragging or showing off and hence try to tone their accomplishments down (Gerstley, 2017). This doesn’t work in the actual job market. A good way to overcome this is to go prepared with a record of your accomplishments by tracking and documenting them in some other format outside of just your resume. This can be a good concise handout of extra information while negotiating higher pay. This also goes back to my point about worth and value. The value is what these accomplishments can do to help the company you are working for.

      Gerstley, A. (2017). 5 Steps to negotiating your worth at work. Retrieved from

      WC 172

    • hey vedrana
      Great point.
      A job interview can be a very stressful time for many people. This is not surprising if we think that a job is playing out or an improvement in our career. And it is this stress that precisely plays us bad tricks by causing us sweat, insecurity or stuttering when we are facing our interlocutor. However, there are techniques that will help you deal with stress during a job interview. One of the step to dealing with the best attitude a job interview is to be positive. To think that everything is going to be okay and go with a safety attitude, will make our brains receive positive messages that will strengthen our security and our confidence when speaking with our interlocutor (Stanton,2006).WC 121

      Reference: Marketing is good stuff (11th ed.). (2006). Stanton

    • Vedrana,
      Truthful point “Have you ever been nervous going into a job interview? I bet we all have” the interview is the window and selling opportunity that candidates have to prove to the hiring manager and to sell themselves as the best candidate for the job opportunity. “Be ready in advance for the questions you will be asked” (Harroch, 2017) Preparing for the interview will help you to control the nervousness and reduce the uncertainty in the interview. Having good rest the night before the interview, researching about the company, the job position and the interview style that the company uses will increase the opportunity for the candidate to obtain a solid performance and greater chance of succeeding the day of the interview.


      Harroch, R. (2017) 10 Essential Steps To Prepare Yourself For A Job Interview. Retrieve from

  10. When going in for an interview there are a lot of emotions, you want to do everything right to make the perfect first impression. When thinking of the interview process I have never thought that negotiating salary was a staple, but according to Robin Madell “the fact is that you have the greatest negotiating power during that short window of time between being offered a job and formally agreeing to take it”(Madell, 2017). I had this idea that in some way the negotiation of salary was not acceptable behavior. I couldn’t be more wrong, it is actually expected and if you do not come prepared to the interview with the information of what you are worth you will be selling yourself short. When beginning to negotiate I think it is important to keep a calm demeanor as you want to show that you are confident in what you are worth, not desperate to milk every dollar from your future employer. Along with researching your industry I think it is wise to self evaluate your own skill set, if you possess additional relevant skills value yourself as such.

    [W.C. 191]

    Madell, R. (2017, July 10). The Exact Words to Use When Negotiating Salary. Retrieved January 24, 2018, from

    • Houston,
      You are very right, most of us get so nervous before and during the job interview that we forget one important question that is crucial to the decision-making process. Negotiating for salary is a skill one needs to have when job hunting. If an individual knows their market value based on the skills, experience, assets, knowledge and education they have, they are more likely to be confident in negotiating their salary (Pinkley, 2004). I can personally say that I’m always a bit apprehensive when negotiating for salary because of the two possible outcomes; one being that I am asking for too much and therefore ruining my chances of getting the position, and two, I might end up accepting an offer that is way below what I am worth. I always look up the average salary for the position I am applying for and in the respective region/ location. This however is just an average and it might not be applicable as different individuals have different levels of skills, experience, and education for a particular job.
      Pinkley, R. L. (2004) ‘Salary and compensation negotiation skills for young professionals’, Journal of the American Dietetic Association, pp. 1064–1068. doi: 10.1016/j.jada.2004.05.201.

    • Right Houston
      In today’s job market, one of the first questions we’re often asked on a job application concerns salary history. By not negotiating your current salary, you’re lowering the number that you’ll get to show your next employer to evaluate your prospective pay in that job, and so on down the road. Negotiating your salary before accepting a job is consistently shown to increase the amount you earn at that job and in the future. Gracefully taking the first offer as exactly that a first offer has long-term benefits over the course of your career. Research showed that men who negotiated their initial salaries were able to raise those salaries by an average of 7.4%. Moreover, also notes that women who consistently negotiate their salaries earn at least one million more over their lifetimes on average than those who do not to (Stanton ,2006), “Marketing is good stuff”. WC 147
      Reference: Marketing is good stuff (11th ed.). (2006). Stanton

  11. What’s Your Market Worth?
    Self-valuation is important especially when it comes to one’s career and professional development. It helps to determine what skills and assets an individual has that are strong and the areas that needs improvement. Professional self-evaluation is in fact a requirement if one wants to have more professional responsibilities(Crossley and Vivekananda-Schmidt, 2009). As the blog points out, downsizing and layoffs are a way of life for most U.S. businesses therefore, making it an inevitable process. As an employee, it is crucial to have a competitive advantage so as to receive the type of compensation that is appropriate. Employee Value proposition (EVP) is the expectation the employer has for the employees(Brown, 2012). It is therefore the responsibility of the employee to find out what the EVP of the organisation is so as to be paid and compensated for their contributions. An employee can also determine if he or she is willing to accept other forms of benefits offered such as dental care, life insurance, and medical coverage among others. Negotiation is a necessary skill for an employee to have in this very competitive market. However, many employees do not negotiate salary during the hiring process. This could be as a result of fear and lack of skills(Marks and Harold, 2011).
    Brown, R. (2012) ‘Employee value proposition’, Beacon Management Review, pp. 29–36.
    Crossley, J. and Vivekananda-Schmidt, P. (2009) ‘The development and evaluation of a Professional Self Identity Questionnaire to measure evolving professional self-identity in health and social care students’, Medical Teacher, 31(12). doi: 10.3109/01421590903193547.
    Marks, M. and Harold, C. (2011) ‘Who asks and who receives in salary negotiation’, Journal of Organizational Behavior, 32(3), pp. 371–394. doi: 10.1002/job.671.

    • Perris, you made a good point on negotiating for something other than just money. A negotiation need not necessarily be only about money. Sometimes negotiating benefits can help negotiate money in the long term. A tuition payment reimbursement for higher education or management courses for example is a great benefit that not many people think of negotiating for. Graves, J. (2013) in her article in “” says this on negotiating professional development courses “This perk benefits you and the company for both the short and long term. Plus, this request signals to a hiring manager that you’re conscientious about doing well and growing professionally”. This can lead to a future negotiation for a higher pay because you have increased your worth and added skills that add value to the organization. What employer or boss wouldn’t like that?

      Graves, J. (2013). 6 Crucial benefits to negotiate besides salary. Retrieved from


      • Thank you Kapil and yes, its important to negotiate for non-monetary benefits. I wasn’t even thinking of benefits like payment for professional advancement such as tuition payment reimbursement. The long term benefits from the education are invaluable as you can definitely use that in your professional career development whether one is with the company or not.

  12. How Do You Rank?
    People are not defined by how many likes or retweets they get, but there is much to be communicated by using social media as a platform.

    Smith stated: “Sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ allow employers to get a glimpse of who you are outside the confines of a résumé, cover letter, or interview — while they offer job seekers the opportunity to learn about companies they’re interested in; connect with current and former employees; and hear about job openings instantaneously, among other things.”

    About a third of employers use social media to research the character of potential candidates. Job seekers go to sites like LinkedIn to find openings as well. To have a competitive advantage and truly utilizing differentiation strategies, it is important to fully apply technology using social media. Kotler raves about Amazon’s updated technology leading to their great success. Kotler stated: “The company continues to invest in technology, is focused on the long-term, and has successfully positioned itself as a technology company with its wide range of Amazon Web Services.” Applying technology to set you apart is no different to what bigger corporations are doing, in terms of growth and development.



    Smith, J. (2013, April 16). How Social Media Can Help (Or Hurt) You in Your Job Search. General Format. Retrieved from

    Kotler, P. & Keller, K. (2012). Marketing management. New York, NY: Prentice Hall.

    • Tina,

      I am surprised that only a third of employers use social media for getting to know their candidates. With this being a free resource to analyze a persons character and lifestyle I would have thought more companies would have made it standard procedure. When researching this after your brought it to light I found a few tips, first off “things such as illegal drug activity, sexual references, and profanity are a few of the top turnoffs”. It is not always easy to avoid these, as with twitter just retweeting an idea makes it a part of your character. When approaching a job interview we should be diligent to clean our accounts up the best we can, but it is always better to be aware the decisions you make online as they will be brought up when determining your value to the company. Your character is part of your value and if it is determined to be unsatisfactory you will not be hired regardless of the extent of your skills.

      [W.C. 173]
      Wood, M. (2017, June 22). Not Getting Any Job Offers? Your Social Media Activity Could Be The Reason. Retrieved January 27, 2018, from

  13. Pick the right time for negociation

    Before entering the arena of negotiation, people must be preparing. “A complete diagnosis of the company, the working conditions, the nature of the position and the responsibilities help to initiate the negotiation and can serve as a reason for obtaining the desired benefits,” According to Stanton (2006), “Marketing is good stuff” (p. 35). It’s all about balancing the needs of the job and what the company can offer its employees. For instance, applying for a company car when no employee benefits from it can play against you. Especially if your position does not require any travel. Indeed , choose the right time for negotiation, negotiation of benefits obeys the same implicit rules as pay rules. Thus, “we do not discuss the benefits during the first interview, this is frowned upon as at this stage, the employer prefers to talk about the job and corporate culture rather than the amount of the ticket restaurant! “It is better to wait until the second interview and wait for the other person to discuss the question first. Attempting to obtain a supplementary pension or mobile phone at this stage of recruitment can result in the outright elimination of your application. The employer thinking that you are less interested in the job than what it can physically bring you. [W:212]
    Reference: Marketing is good stuff (11th ed.). (2006). Stanton

  14. Very nice narrative and a logical approach. I’d be very interested in your comments on my blog posts on creativity in negotiations. Of course, some situations allow for more creativity than others.
    Issue Resolution.

    Perhaps the experience of others was different, but I learned very little in formal school classrooms about ways to resolve conflicts. Yet, much is known beyond simple compromise, using external authority or force of arms. This posts focuses on some of those with pointers to longer descriptions of the techniques.

    Resolution: Create!

    This post encourages a more creative look at issue resolution. I believe that more progress can be made by people working together than by even a 10x increase in Facebook posts to convince everyone else that they are wrong. 😉

    • PeterSIronwood,

      Thanks for dropping a line on our topic! I agreement with you. I have had nothing in my academic education related to negotiations. That is tragic.
      Went to your blog and found it to be beneficial.
      Thanks for sharing!

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