How Much Are You Worth?
I started my first job when I was 18 years old with a starting pay around $8/hour. That was more than the $0 a year I was getting before, so I was excited at that age to have steady money. Twelve years later, I can gladly say that I've made strides over the years to polish my skills and be part of the conversation when I provide a service to an individual or business.
Prior to Freelancing, every job I had set a rate for me, whether hourly or yearly. If you've worked retail, you're familiar with the scenario. The standard pay varies but let's average it out to $10/hr and give you a 40/hr work week, if you're lucky. That's $400 a week before taxes, while during one shift you're expected to sell $400 worth of merchandise in a set time. In most situations you sell three times as much during the day. Your ability to engage with customers and assist coworkers is extremely valuable, the numbers show it, but regardless of extra efforts, your worth to the company stays at that set rate.
So are you worth what you're currently getting paid? Consider these questions.
- What do you bring to the company?
- How does your work influence profit?
- What innovation have you brought to increase productivity?
- What skills have you learned since starting?
As long as you work for someone else, they will always set your worth for you. And although there is nothing wrong with that, there should be a desire to always reach higher. You don't need to be an entrepreneur to set your worth. Being aware of your career skills and aiming for the highest pay grade in your field is just as good. There are customer service reps who make $9/hour and there are others who make $20/hr. Are you worth the $20/hr job? If you are, go apply for it. If not, what skills can you learn to get it?
Every job should be a learning experience. Whether you're starting your first job, paying for school, or just looking for a place to build a career, every day you step into work should be a day you leave smarter than the day before. The skills you learn, the tasks you complete, and the relationships you make with clients and coworkers all set the tone for your next professional transition. As you begin to learn, you'll eventually hit a plateau and that's when it's time to consider moving up.
Maybe you work towards a promotion or maybe you go from a $12/hr customer service rep job to the $20/hr. Better yet, maybe you've learned enough and decide you want to start your own business using everything you've learned from other businesses.
The more skills you acquire, the more you begin to develop the ability to be part of the conversation on how much you are worth. As a Freelancer, in most cases I set the standard for my services. On other occasions, I work out a reasonable negotiation. They say a good negotiation means both parties walked away having lost something. Know your worth in skills, aim for it and when it's time to negotiate you'll be able to let go fo something without a care.
Not sure where to begin? Feel free to contact me for life coaching support and services.