Leading Ladies - Know Your Worth and Stand Strong

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“We’re not sure you have the right skills and experience for the role”.

Given that this was the second time the job description had changed in the last week I was fairly convinced they weren’t sure of anything. But I was feeling anxious. I want this job, I thought. It’s a great opportunity that might take me to the next level in my career. How far can I go to convince them? How can I prove how good I will be for this business?

“Perhaps if you were to lower your salary expectations…”

Aha! There’s the kicker.

Something clicked in my brain; “No. I’m worth what I’ve put forward and here’s why…”

The next day I received an offer for the salary I had requested.

This was a moment for me. A moment where I realised how much I was worth and how much others might value me. But, had I gone with my instinct, one that told me to apologise for my age, second-guess my market value, and give over the power I held in the negotiation, I would’ve found myself in a very different position.

Instead of bowing down to the stress and pressure I stood up and made everyone aware of my limit.

I was recently watching the Financial Diet’s interview with Anna Akana (YouTuber, actress and author). When asked what she thought was the difference between people with money and people without it she remarked on the desperation for money when you don’t have it and how it can undermine you.

One comment really stood out to me; “The power to walk away from things is often what will lead to the money coming”.

I’m fortunate to currently be in a position where I have somewhat of a financial safety blanket. A perk of contracting. This was the only reason I was able to take the risk to stand my ground. Until recently I’ve spent a lot of time budgeting, struggling with paying bills, and constantly feeling the strain on my wallet while living in one of the most expensive cities in the world. Now I feel the freedom of having financial feet to stand on and the power that gives you to think clearly.

But, I wonder, this confidence that comes from having stable finances, perhaps if I had it without the finances I might have been able to take more risks sooner. What if I hadn’t been so desperate for that contract last year? Could I have negotiated a better fee? What if I had trusted in my abilities and worth for that freelance job? Could I have convinced the client to trust me more?

I find that confidence is frequently the key to unlocking opportunities and yet, more often than not, I don’t trust in my abilities enough to march through those open doors.

Going forward I’ve realised I know my market value, I know my strengths and weaknesses, and I have the confidence now to trust in this knowledge and set limits.

And should I ever find myself, again, desperate for money and succumbing to the pressures of negotiating my worth I will make sure to take a second to remember this confidence, check I’m not undermining my success and stand strong in the knowledge that I have value and they need me more than I need them.