Are you re-considering your professional future and wondering how to determine your market value? How would you sell yourself to reach that market value? 

If you are in upper management, the chances are you haven’t had to think about this for quite a while. 

There can be many reasons for considering your employment options, such as lack of challenges in the current job, lack of recognition or just loss of interest in the work you do. In such circumstances, you may wonder about your options and indeed what would your added value proposition (market value) actually be should you consider new employment possibilities.

If you feel that change is on the horizon, it helps to start off by clearly qualifying  what it is that you do. To an experienced executive that may sound like a straightforward task but experience tells us, this isn’t as easy as it may seem. 

Over the last ten years, we have seen many executives unable to openly say what their areas of expertise actually are.  To the two simple questions: ‘’Who are you and what do you do?” we have heard countless CEO’s, CFO’s and even Vice-Presidents of Tier 1 organizations unable to formulate a simple answer.  They remain unclear or sometimes get too technical. 

Executives often consider answers to these two questions crucial in providing the wider scope of their expertise.  They worry that by positioning themselves with a clear definition of who they are and what they are good at doing it will make them less attractive. Or even worse, that they will be identified as unable to fulfil the multitasks required at any executive’s level.   

How to determine your market value?

We’ve developed a three-step process to help you build your story (market yourself) so that your added value proposition for potential employers will be undoubtedly clear. The underlying purpose is to seek a new challenge that will meet your interests & expertise and because if you don’t know who you are and what you want to do, you will never reach your actual market value.

This three step process is the concept of “I know/I can/I want.”

Step 1

Begin by creating a three-column list. 

We’ve created a PDF template for you to get you started quickly. (Right click to download here)

You’ll quickly realize that column A & B will be quite easy to do.   Draw on your work and life experiences and write down everything that comes to mind. Don’t hold back, get it all down on paper.  

“The world that we have made as a result of the level of thinking we have done thus far, creates problems we cannot solve at the same level at which we created them.”

Albert Einstein

Step 2

Now move onto Column C. This part is not simple as it will require you to make difficult choices.  You must try to remove all possible barriers limiting your thought process to reach your full professional potential.

This isn’t quite as straightforward as you might think and we recommend that it’s beneficial to have the guidance of a professional coach member of ICF or an industrial psychologist.  Completing this column is where you really start to see clarity. Taking the effort to determining your true value combined with your desire to change makes committing a small budget a non question.

There are numerous options for for support in this area and we would recommend visiting the International Coaching Federation website at

For the purposes of this article and to give insight into what you can expect from this sort of coaching, we are going to refer to ICF member  The Erickson Coaching International School approach. One of their school’s founders responsible for helping worldwide executives reach their full professional potential is Marilyn Atkinson, and here is what she had to say:

“At any given moment in history, at any location on the planet, a few specific people and groups can be identified as being on the cutting edge of thought and skills, doing the most advanced work of the time in vitally important areas. In chaotic times, education must include the skills of leadership and vision. It must include practical methods for bringing visions and values into reality in daily approaches to problem resolution. It must include training in the abilities to utilize events that look like failures as power boosters towards reinventing excellence. It must include a deep understanding of the courage and vulnerability required to lead a distinguishing life.” 

With the help of a coach using an Erickson Coaching Methodology, you will be able to: 

  • Step toward desired future outcomes, instead of concentrating on past experiences or reasons for present dissatisfaction.
  • Approach your value systematically
  • Place emphasis on your holistic nature, seeing how positive change can fit into the bigger picture.
  • Identify your inner resources and skills, respecting your agenda and future outcomes. 
  • Pursue transformational change in specific, inspired steps that lead to fundamental shifts in attitude, behavior and habit formation.

After determining the content of column C (what you would like to do / your value proposition), you will be ready to formulate your added value proposition leading to an entire revamp of your bio, CV and any social media assets with references to your expertise. 

Step 3

Now is the time for assessing employment market opportunities.  A professional executive recruiter will provide you with not only employment opportunities but will be able to assess your market value based on your profile.  

They should also guide you through the interview preparation helping you deliver your message. The executive recruiter can make recommendations, such as reworking your CV or reviewing your marketing strategy and search strategy. The recruiter can also advise you on your value based on the position, the job level, the industry targeted and your experience, thereby enabling you to make a fully informed decision.


You’re all set.  You will have now gained a true understanding of who you are and what you want and know how to determine your market value. You will know exactly what type of companies will be offering what you are seeking and know what the market will be able to offer for your added value proposition.

The last and ultimate step will be getting that first interview. With the help of your executive recruiter or your coach, you should rehearse to deliver your full potential while at the same time assess your future employer. 

This article was written by Guy Larivière of Glasford Canada. Contact Guy to learn more about positioning yourself for the market or executive search services in Canada .

About Glasford International

Glasford International is a global (retained) executive search firm with offices throughout Europe, Asia, the Middle East, North and South Americas. Established in 1998, we support clients in executive search and selection, leadership and personality assessments at an international, cross-border and local level.