Factors that influence your worth in the job market.

The closer you are to the activities and decisions that directly impacts an organisations growth, success, or value creation – the more valuable you are.

What enables you to claim top of the line compensation? A big hearted employer, a cool boss, your ability to deliver and get things done, or just some good luck. All these are true for sure, and a number of these are also interdependent and interrelated. Let’s check out some factors responsible for your worth in the job market.

The Employer 

The pockets of your employer. Their kindness and their being able to see value in your credentials and work. Of course, most of the time we are well paid because we are at the right place. If you land up at a business that values its people, has ample cash and has a cool product with reasonable market share you will do good. Even if you are tolerably sensible you will end up with a good pay. The side effects of this also impacts your future – If the employer has serious ambitions of growth or is working on cool new technologies you too will end up working on challenging assignments, new products etc.  All that gives you better exposure, learning etc. and thus makes you more employable with a better value.

You Place in the Value Chain

The closer you are to the activities or contribution that impacts an organisations growth, success, or value creation – the more valuable you are. If you are closely and personally accountable for an organisation’s top line, you get the maximum return. That may be a reason why CEO’s make super big money, and HOD’s also make reasonably good money. Now, forget the CEO’s – even if you are working with a senior business leader you may end up making better money, and you may possibly secure quick promotions.This is true even if you are physically located closer to the top bosses – for example: An executive at a businesses corporate office has a fair chance of getting a better raise as compared to an executive in the field.

The Market

This one is most important – the talent flow in the market, economic conditions, and availability of talent. Skill sets and delivery capability that are in high demand and short supply will definitely be expensive. Skillsets that are dime a dozen will have a relatively lower value. Also, skillsets that are easily available won’t see much appreciation. If a business with high growth and loads of cash starts rewarding top talent really well, even others businesses will have to pay well to compete for quality talent, thus increasing the salary benchmarks.

Risk: Risk to Life

Riskier jobs tend to have a better pay as compared to similar jobs with low risk. A technician on an oil rig will make more money than similarly skilled guy working elsewhere. You can even see some companies paying an additional hardship allowance to executives posted in risky geographies. Risk to Career, Finances, and Reputation: The same logic applies when we talk about financial risk – the riskier your jobs – the better your chances of making money. For example: stock broker’s job, investment banking jobs, or a CEO’s job. If a CEO picks up the rein of a company in a crisis stage and is expected to get the company out of the muddle – he will make a decent deal even if he ends up just playing the strategy-re-strategy game. Of course, if he turns around the company then he has ample funds to buy a couple of ranch, yachts, an airliner, etc. Risk to business: What would be financial or any other opportunity lost for the business if a position stays vacant. If it’s some routine job which stays vacant – possibly no one cares, if it’s some critical job which could lead to loss of revenue or productivity the employers are willing to pay more.


While a combination of your knowledge, technical skills, people skills, decision making & problem solving ability, and your ability to reasonably impact a business is important, it is also important that you are able to amply convey your abilities to those planning to hire you. Apart from being good, you also need to have a good track record to ensure that you are trusted as someone who can get things done, rather than someone who can talk. Even if you can “talk”, you will make good money, if you can “do” as well – you can make much more. You should also know when to jump ship? If you are a working executive, amply skilled, and have proven talent it is also important that you should also be able to judge when to switch, when to pull out and where to stay put.