Know Your Career Net Worth

Do you know the net worth of your career? Completing an online salary survey will give you a one-dimensional view of your value, but it isn’t designed to take a holistic view of your total career net worth.

Your career net worth needs to assess the sum of:

  • your skills (learned, transferrable, and innate);
  • life and work-related experiences;
  • personal and work-related accomplishments;
  • training, education; and
  • individual traits and characteristics.

It can be easier to put a value on some of these items over others, but combined they create your total career net worth. Many individuals will look at their training, education, and worked-related experiences/skills and overlook the value of some of the ‘soft skills’ or life experiences they possess.

What you may take for granted and see as just a part of your life could help you stand out to an employer. Life experiences could include:

  • having lived abroad,
  • extensive traveling,
  • speaking a second language,
  • years of competitive dance or music experience,
  • volunteering at the food bank, or
  • being a captain, or referee for a sports team.

Through many of these life experiences individuals will have learned tangible ‘skills’ like learning to integrate to new processes, systems, and cultures. Dealing with ambiguity, developed perseverance, initiative, living with success and disappointment, seeing through the eyes of others, or the less fortunate.

Individual traits and characteristics such as natural leadership, motivation, and friendliness can also be critical to success.

One example is of an individual who finds it very easy to mingle in a crowd and socialize. For many people this skill is a part of their individual traits and characteristics. They don’t think twice about it because it's second nature to them. While others find crowd surfing painfully difficult and it takes a lot of courage and personal motivation to walk into a room of strangers.

Depending on your career choice this skill could increase your ability for success and your net worth to an organization.

Review your career net worth and decide which experience, skills, and traits help differentiate you from your peers and gives your manager a better understanding of your total value to the organization.