The difference between 'worth' and 'value' in salary negotiations.

I received a question about the the difference between 'worth' and 'value' in salary negotiations. I had recently commented on a LinkedIn thread that demonstrating your VALUE (not worth) is critical in salary negotiations and this begins at writing your CV, straight through to the interviews and then finally, at the actual salary negotiation discussions.

Your worth is intrinsic. No one can take that away from you. 

As we know there are ongoing problems with this society that throws this into question for individuals who come from marginalised backgrounds. Organisations efforts in creating inclusion and pay equity can and do impact an individual's sense of self worth. This is not okay and this problem needs to be addressed. This is also part of the reality that many have to face when pursuing opportunities. However, in an ideal world when it comes to salary negotiation this is hopefully not what we are throwing into question.

Your VALUE however is. Your value is what you bring to the company that makes them want to invest in you (by way of hiring you and giving you a salary). This is the mix of your experience, results, skills, qualifications, passion, dedication and 'fit' to the company. A company cannot pay you your value unless you take responsibility for articulating it, demonstrating it and finally, negotiating it throughout the hiring process. Your value therefore is different to your worth.

As you can see, there are quite a few subjective elements here that are highly problematic in business environments that have a very narrow view on what a good 'fit' is. That being said for a moment, I hope you can see my point here.  In coaching, language is SO important. It is why I wanted to distinguish between the two. Worth truly is intrinsic.  Value and how people perceive that value is subjective and every salary negotiation is determined on this. 

If you have low self worth, this is inner work that must be addressed from within. No amount of external validation will elevate this for you. Low self worth often results in imposter syndrome - particularly in situations where you have been able to articulate your value and secure that job or promotion but don’t feel truly deserving of it. 

Adversely, value in the context of careers is subjective and external to you. Your value is what you bring to the company that makes them want to invest in you (by way of hiring you and giving you a salary). This is the mix of your experience, results, skills, qualifications etc as mentioned above. This for example, is where the person who is perhaps more capable of ‘bragging’ or ‘networking’ gets noticed as they demonstrate a higher perceived value than everyone else. 

Women, on average, are less likely to negotiate because of low self worth, or an inability to demonstrate their value. Again, as we distinguished the difference between the two it is important for you to recognise which is holding you back. 

Which of these questions did you say no to?

Do you believe you deserve to be in an incredible job that pays your worth?

Do you know HOW to handle a salary negotiation discussion and talk effectively about your value?

If you answered no to the first question then I would highly recommend you prioritise some inner work and focus on how you can elevate your worth. If you would like some help with this, perhaps coaching with me is right for you. 

If you answered no to the second question then it is simply a case of learning the skill of negotiation and being able to confidently articulate and demonstrate your value. Again, my coaching can offer you support with this too if you would like to learn how. 

Ps. In case you were wondering, you are worthy.

If you have questions please don’t hesitate to reach out in the DM’s. 




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