If you were asked today to put a value on your experience, what type of price tag would it have?
I recently found myself asking this very question. I was having a conversation with my father, discussing an opportunity that was presented to me that had quickly turned into an unexpected haggle over compensation. It had left me feeling a bit uncomfortable. As he offered his advice, he made the comment that I must always remember
that I am worth every penny I make and then some and I should never sell myself short.
It was a simple statement. Of course, coming from my dad, I could have easily disregarded it as just another pep talk from a very subjective source, but as he said it, I had a sudden epiphany.
Deep down, I always thought I knew that the experience and knowledge I have to offer was valuable. However, I began to realize that actually internalizing this confidence is one thing, but having the conviction to promote my own strengths in critical moments is quite another story.
I have always been a believer that if I put in the work, I will be rewarded for my efforts. However, life continues to show me that this is not always how it plays out. In the light of day, it became clear that my seemingly altruistic viewpoint was simply a way to avoid self-promotion.
To be brutally honest, who am I trying to kid? I hate to use an old tired cliché but it’s a dog eat dog world out there and if you don’t advocate for yourself, no one else is going to do it for you.
I have spent enough time in the corporate world to witness countless male colleagues rise to the top, one proactive ask at a time. It seems to me that for women, this behavior feels almost foreign to us. Not to say that there aren’t plenty of go getter betties out there. However, if you were to ask the majority how many times they have supported co-workers and subordinates in getting to the next level, I can guarantee you in most cases, they have championed for their own cause far less frequently.
Why is it so difficult for us to articulate our own worth? We have certainly added grist to the mill over the years, put in significant time, paid a fair amount of dues and earned noteworthy stripes. This accounts for a great deal, especially to those in need of our expertise and wisdom.
It is due time for us to become our own fierce supporters, ladies. Whether it’s with a potential employer, partner, customer or client, they would be lucky to work with us….and oh yes, we do come at a premium.
I don’t know about you, but my price tag will no longer be found at a consignment shop hidden amongst the rare gems on the sale rack.
It will be proudly displayed on a fabulous frock somewhere on Park Avenue in a high-end boutique that caters exclusively to those with discerning taste and very deep pockets. Thanks for the reminder dad.