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29 Oct 2009

POSTED BY DJackson IN General | Oct 29th, 2009 | no responses

Boosting your perceived value

Twelve months ago, people looking for jobs were told to discount their value and take what salary they could get in an uncertain economic climate. Now those people are finding that the market has come back up and they’re stuck at low tide. So how do you raise your value back to the market rate once you’ve taken the bullet?

In his recent book “Value Above Cost”, Columbia Business School Professor Donald E. Sexton observes that the most important function of marketing is to enhance perceived value, which is defined as the maximum that the customer will pay for a product or service.

Perceived value is not necessarily the same thing as real value. For example, in the luxury goods industry, consumers pay for the name and the brand, even though in reality almost everything nowadays is made in China, where production cost is a mere fraction of the retail price. 

The same principles can apply to salaries. If your perceived value (defined by your recession-dampened salary) is a far cry from the value that you’re bringing to your company, there are a few things you can do to boost it.

Document your contributions and the goals you have accomplished for your company. Have you taken on extra responsibilities and executed them well? Are you achieving gains for the company that are unmeasured and uncommunicated? You probably document this when you write your resume, but it can be just as useful in your current company.

Don’t assume people notice your achievements. You may need to raise your visibility at work and the visibility of your contributions – not obnoxiously, but to make it easier to match your perceived value with your real value.

Never threaten to leave if you don’t get a pay rise, but if you have access to benchmarking data you’ll be able to demonstrate what people with your skill level are earning across the industry. If (and this is an important if) you’re doing a good job and are seen to be doing a good job, you will have a shot at returning your earnings to pre-GFC levels.

By David Jackson

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