Far too many times in the last few years because of the crummy economy, professionals are devaluing their self-worth in the job marketplace. We as a society need to put a value on our own lives in the business world and start driving the price of employees up instead of down.
This theory is not only goes for solo-entrepreneur’s on the internet and off, but the common job seeker who has just found themselves laid off from a job, re-entering the job marketplace, or trying desperately to move on from their current position. I worked for a company once that lost their contract. It was awarded to another vendor and the employees in my office scrambled to move on before being laid off.
The one thing that distressed me was the inability to determine one’s self-worth in the business marketplace. What irks me the most in corporate America is when people take a pay cut when they really deserve a raise. Why on earth would you work at a position for 3-10 years, gain all that experience and then let someone tell you that your worth is less than what you are currently making or valued at the same amount?
It’s inexcusable to let someone dictate your value in our society regardless of what the economy is doing, what your friends tell you should be making, or what an HR person says your job title is worth! Do you want to know why? Every time you take a pay cut you are not only undermining your ability to survive and your family’s ability, but you are telling the HR person and the economy they are right. Do you have any clue what that does to the job market? That not only makes the rich richer (the big bad business owner), but it also now tells the rest of the job pushers that your job is now only worth this much money. That means everyone else who is qualified for that position in a different state and a different city has now been told their job is only worth this much.
So for example, Project Coordinator Jane in ABC city USA has made 60K a year as a high level project coordinator on at IT project for the last 3 years. She has gained invaluable skills and could probably do the job of a project manager now and run circles around them. Unfortunately she has also gotten burned out on her job and she has heard rumors that they are eliminating her department.
She has now applied for a better coordinator position at company Awesome. They have everything she wants in a position and are even going to give her more duties such as managing a small staff. Guess what? They know she needs a job so they offer her 55K a year to this awesome new job and explain that’s what everyone else in the industry is now offering. Jane takes it without even negotiating and she is happy to have a job. But she has a twinge of depression creep in because she feels that she should have and could have been making more but tries to rationalize her thoughts stating she was going to be out of a job soon so she should be grateful for anything at this point.
This is where the downward spiral starts. Jane in turn has started a ripple effect by not even negotiating herself worth even though she deserves more. But now she feels a bit of anxiety every time she goes to work at her new awesome job because she knows she should have asked for more money. This is a common problem not only in the corporate world but online as well. Because Joe Shmoe in India can live on and will take 4 dollars an hour, Joe Brilliant in the good ole USA feels he needs to lower his prices as well.
If the entire workforce would stand up for themselves and tell corporate America they are worth more, and that they will not being doing the job of 3 people instead of just 1, I believe our job force would be much happier and work more productively. You have to value yourself everyday in life and business much higher than what you would expect. In turn others will value you as well in turn affording you better opportunities, more money, and a better lifestyle. The moral of the story is, if you have to fake it do, ask for what you are worth, know where you are going in life whether it be in corporate America or as a solo-entrepreneur. Never settle for less than you are worth!