Understanding the prevalence of undervaluation in the medical field

Knowing your value is understanding what you stand for and what you’re prepared to accept from people you meet in all aspects of your career. Some people show little respect, while others will be fully supportive and encouraging. Both will have an impact on your career path.

Many people feel undervalued when it comes to financial compensation. Your peers are getting more significant pay increases than you, or you receive an offer for a job that is well below the minimum award wage.

I’ve seen this happen – where organisations offer a salary significantly below the market rates for executive roles (sometimes 50% lower), knowing that one of the applicants will accept it.

It’s especially prevalent for executive female medical professionals who accept a job because they need it. These organisations know doctors are determined to move their careers forward, regardless of the remuneration offered.

Is it fair? Of course not. Is there something you can do about it? Sometimes. It comes down to priorities: sometimes your focus is getting a job, any job, to pay the mortgage, no matter how low the financial compensation.

In this article, we discuss how to find out an organisation’s values, how to define your value (knowing your worth), and options to get the compensation you deserve.

Understanding organisational values and assessing self-worth: Questions you should ask yourself

Whether you’re already in an executive role or looking to move into one, it’s important to know the organisation’s core values. Here are some questions to ask:

  1. Are the core values clear and concise?
  2. Are the core values integrated into the company culture?
  3. How do the core values impact the organisation’s decision-making processes?
  4. Are the core values reflected in the organisation’s hiring and promotion processes?

Now let’s look at how to understand your worth (value) in the workplace:

  1. Identify your skills. How are they relevant to the job you have/are applying for?
  2. Assess your experience. What have you achieved, and what challenges have you overcome?
  3. Analyse your accomplishments. What have you contributed to the organisation?
  4. Seek feedback from your peers, management and recruiters. What are their perceptions of your strengths and uniqueness?

Next, prioritise what’s important to you for the executive role:

  1. Know what drives you. What is your passion, and how does it translate into the role?
  2. Assess your financial situation. What do you need: adequate remuneration, additional benefits, career path options?
  3. Job satisfaction. Do you want a job you look forward to?
  4. Job security. Does the organisation retain their staff, or is there high attrition?


Once you have worked through the above steps, you’ll better understand what is important to you for an executive career.

Until you know this, you won’t be able to effectively negotiate to get the executive role and remuneration you deserve.

I run workshops in Australia and New Zealand specifically for senior doctors wanting to move into executive roles. The workshops provide confidential coaching for small groups to help prepare you to win that executive job.

Contact me at [email protected] for details.

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