How much am I worth? Your Personal Salary Guide

One of the most important questions that a job seeker will ask themselves is “how much can I expect to earn?” Whether you’re applying for a new position or renegotiating a contract for an existing position, you have to know the answer to this question if you intend to walk away with the money you deserve.

There are many factors to consider and resources available to help you answer this question. And of course, there are lots of things you can do improve your worth, starting today. Carry on reading for information and suggestions on improving your worth.


The nature of your experience will shape your future career as well as your earnings. It is important to consider your ambitions, goals and where you want to be. This way you can steer your experience towards industries and fields of work that are of particular interest to you, or where the rewards, and therefore your worth, are greater.

Specific practical experience, as well as broader industry experience are both factors to consider. The former is widely applicable: it may improve your chances of moving between industries, perhaps to ones where average salaries are higher. Industry experience may only be relevant to a specific sector, but may give you easier access to roles further up the pay scale.

Consider how much control you have over the scope of your role

Think about how transferable your skills and experience are, or in which industries they are most valuable

Education and qualifications

Education and qualifications differentiate you in the employment market. Achieving a qualification in some specialist areas, notably IT and financial advice, can see your worth jump almost overnight.

Remember that your ‘education and qualifications’ aren’t just the grades you achieved at school, college or university. Companies spend huge amounts on training staff in specific software, or with specific industry techniques. These are invaluable assets to your existing employer, but new employers may see a significant financial incentive to take you on if they know they don’t have to train your further down the line.

Consider your ambitions, goals and where you want to be.

Talk to someone who has reached that position What education, qualifications and commitment are needed?


Most employers monitor staff performance closely, and your present employer will be aware of how well you have – or have not – been doing in recent months. If you meet targets, deliver on promises, motivate your team, train others and simply have a good attitude, this will increase your worth substantially.

The effect of your performance on your worth may be indicated by feedback from your manager and colleagues and your performance against agreed targets and objectives.

Seek periodic reviews and feedback from your manager

Boost your performance through continuous improvement

Set formal targets and objectives with your manager


All of the above is meaningless if nobody is actually taking notice of how much money you are making the company through your efforts to improve as an employee. For some things it’s easy – a certificate or mention on your CV – for others you will have to work harder. Visibility and exposure amongst these stakeholders is the key here. You will have to make decision makers aware of your achievements or they will be overlooked.

Know the stakeholders in your future

Work on the image they have of you


The more people you have reporting to you, or the wider the scope of your role, the higher you can expect to be paid. Provided you can handle the responsibility, seeking out such positions may help increase your worth.

If you have people management skills, move into positions where others have to report to you. Otherwise, always try to widen the scope of your role. The more responsibility you have, the more you can be expected to be paid.

Consider whether your responsibilities have changed since your last review

Unique knowledge

Unique knowledge of particular markets, processes or systems is highly valuable when a company stands to bear a high cost from losing this knowledge. You will be considered to have this kind of knowledge if you create a department, brand, system or process yourself.

Of course, this can be a double-edged sword. If a promotion or transfer would remove you from your specialist area, you may find more resistance to your progression. Similarly, your knowledge may be too specialist to be transferable to positions at other employers.

Decide whether to keep or share any unique knowledge you have

Geography and industry

Two people doing the same job in two different parts of the country, or two different industries, may be paid very differently. This may not simply be because one of these employees hasn’t negotiated a good deal for themselves: the maximum salary for one city may simply be better than that for another.

The Adecco group has its very own salary calculator on This allows you to input a job title, location and contract type in order to determine regional salary trends. Armed with this information, why not browse our job database and apply for the job that you deserve?