Mental Model

You have become comfortable in your job and some time has passed since you tested the market. Although you feel confident, you lack insight into how the market has changed. You overstate the value of the skills or underestimate how difficult it will be to make a transition. You leave money on the table not realizing you are worth a lot more. Or you realize during a forced situation that your current employer is overpaying the market rate for your skills. Your relevancy and market value will remain a mystery until you lightly sell your product and see how the market responds. Continually test your relevancy – your life depends on it.


Your livelihood depends on remaining relevant with a value proposition that you deliver through your expertise and is in demand. Products on the market are getting a continuous signal of their worth and how pricing influences demand. The product of your expertise should operate no differently. You need to periodically test the market to see if your expertise is relevant and at what price. You don’t want to get caught off guard by a decline in your relevancy or compensation that the market is willing to pay.

In this context, “selling”, is lightly putting your product out there to gather a signal of your relevance and worth. If you work for an organization, put loyalty aside and any apprehension about selling yourself since the only one who is really going to care the most about your well-being is you.


1 – Identify target companies and jobs.

Create a list of companies that you would be willing to work for.

Conduct research or leverage your network to understand the compensation range.

2- Leverage informational interviews.

Read through the job description of a target job or a similar role in another company.

Highlight the accountabilities where you do not have strength or expertise.

Ask for an informational interview to get feedback from a hiring manager on where your expertise stacks up to the expectations of the role.

Inquire about the range of compensation including salary, bonus, and equity.

3 – Network with headhunters.

Develop relationships with company recruiters and headhunters.

Ask for insight into trends and a range of compensation they are seeing for a role similar to yours.

Ask for feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of your experience and LinkedIn profile.

4 – Test potential new ways to monetize your expertise.

Create a compelling offer at a high price point to sell your expertise as a consultant.

Execute a light marketing campaign to get feedback on the interest and price sensitivity.

5 – Incorporate feedback into your development plan.

Identify what type of learning is required to address your gaps.

Incorporate this into your personal development roadmap.

Experiment With This

  • Periodically apply to job opportunities (or have an informational) to gauge the interest of organizations or people for your expertise. This will give you feedback on your competency gaps and worth.
  • When was the last time I tested my worth? What is my value on the open market? Specifically, what is the “willingness to pay” for my expertise (the maximum amount a customer is willing to pay for your product or service)?


How to Calculate Willingness to Pay and Use It to Inform Subscription Pricing by Patrick Campbell