Value Your Own Worth
Knowing your worth means an awful lot more than those cute little graphics that we see on social media encouraging us to “know your value” and reminding us that “you are worthy” – which, of course, you all are.
You are all worthy beings, you are all worthy of life, love and happiness, whatever that looks like to you. You are worthy of self-love and self-compassion. You are worthy of living your best life and taking those opportunities. You are worthy of putting yourself first.
But what does your worthiness and your value mean when it comes to the work place?
This is something I have really struggled with and continue to still battle with.
I can think of two distinct scenarios that play out over and over again in the work environment.
The first one depicts the “normal” working situation of going for a job interview. Before you turn up physically, you need to show up for yourself first. Think about how much you are worth – your skills, your abilities, your intelligence and your passion. Can you put a figure onto that? More likely than not, the job description or its contract came with a salary figure. Does that reflect you and your feelings of worth? If it’s your first interview, first day or first “real life” job, you probably feel quite hesitant to challenge that figure (and I’m not encouraging you to do so just yet) but maybe after a while, consider whether this figure is an accurate reflection of your workload, your time and of you.
We spend an awful lot of our time “at work” – whether that is a good or a bad thing is up to you – but our worthiness at work is more than the transferred amount into our bank account at the end of the month. It’s how we are treated during the day, it’s the after-work drinks we go to with colleagues, it’s the fun Christmas parties that we like going to. It’s everything that falls under the “work” umbrella and how it affects our sense of self.
The second scenario is where I find myself – as a freelancer. This “job title” doesn’t come with a salary or even a benchmark on a piece of paper. It doesn’t come with a set of rules and regulations to follow in the office, nor does it come with office hours (although, I do appreciate that many 9-5 jobs are no longer 9-5). Freelancer life is fluid, changeable and uncertain. But more than that, it is fun, it is creative, and it is empowering – in my experience so far. It is being able to choose which jobs I take on and which roads I want to travel down. It is the freedom to be my own boss and to do something I truly LOVE. But, and yes there is a but, because at some stage it does come down to money. As much as talking about food, writing about food and eating food are my passions, to make Nourishing Amy a thriving business, I do need to talk and think about money.
The typical stiff-upper lip British-ness of us, makes talking about money almost a “taboo” subject – too personal and not polite dinner conversation. And for that, I am so grateful to the other freelancers who have openly discussed figures with me, so I know where to start.
Setting your own rates is a learning curve that ebbs and flows and one that changes. In the blogging industry your “worthiness” is linked to your numbers: brands want to know your followers, your stats, your engagement, your “value”. But your value is way more than the numbers on your grid. So, what if my Instagram post doesn’t get many likes one day, does that mean my rates should go down? Does that I mean I am no longer valuable as a recipe developer? No, it does not.
The figure you set as a freelancer is not only the recipe and images that I produce and the social media post I tag a brand in, it is my energy. It is a reflection of how much I give of myself with each collaboration I work on. Working is more than a simple transaction of services; it is a sharing of ideas and passion.
Being paid is an acknowledgment of your worth and of your value. I know it is scary to set put that into a figure because what if that figure seems too scary and too high? What if the brand could get someone to do the same work for less money or even for free? What if the said brand want to negotiate? What if, what if, what if…
What if the brand says YES?
I once heard a money expert say you should have a figure in your head and add on 10% because you most probably sell yourself short. And even then that figure is probably on the conservative side.
For the last few years I have very much lived by the phrase: if you don’t ask you don’t get. So why not ask for that higher figure, if you believe your efforts, time and passion are worthy and see what happens?
The worst they can do is say no.