How to Embrace What You’re Worth
The first step in owning your worth is to take stock of your positive attributes, contributions, accomplishments, talents, and experience. Here are some actions that will help you start to own your worth.
- Make a list of your:
- Positive characteristics that support the great service or products you provide.
- Contributions to your customers or your company.
- The benefits your customers or your company receive from you.
- Focus on the characteristics that make you different and more valuable than your competition.
- Arm yourself with data by researching what others who do the same job as you do are paid:
- At your company (if possible without offending anyone)
- At similar companies in your area
You may not know all that you’ve done for your company because you focus on the everyday tasks that need to get done. You don’t often stop to look at the whole picture of what you contribute.
Also, you may be underpaid for your industry and position. The only way to know what others are paid is to do the research.
Own Your Worth
The next step in owning your worth as a leader in your company is to believe the data you’ve collected.
Review the data until you truly embrace it, and then share it with colleagues and friends. This will also help you practice how to articulate your worth to your manager and/or HR.
For example, we worked with a client who was a Project Manager and he needed to own his worth to move up to the next level (Program Manager). He felt he didn’t have the experience needed to make this step up.
After he made the list of accomplishments, we helped him compare his accomplishments with the job of Program Manager. What he found is that he had done 90% of what a Program Manager does through parts of his current job and past jobs and through filling in for his manager for 6 months while he was off on medical leave.
Once he looked at this data, his confidence grew. He was able to get his current employer to see that he was ready for the next step, but they didn’t have an opening. So he applied to jobs outside his company and was able land a Program Manager position.
He’s now happily doing his dream job!
What Fears Hold you Back from Asking for What You Are Worth?
Whether you are currently employed or looking for a new job, you may have trouble asking for what you’re worth.
Fears like these may get in your way:
- Fear of rejection
- Fear of being perceived as not “nice” or “likable”
- Fear of finding out you’re not worth what you thought you were worth
Luckily, these (and most) fears can be refuted.
Fear of Rejection:
If they say “no” to your salary request, it’s not a rejection, you just have a different view of the business arrangement than the company does.
Now you know where you stand and you have a choice: you can stay and accept the salary you have or leave for a higher salary.
- You’re no worse off than you were before (your salary is the same as it was).
- You’ll know that you didn’t leave any money on the table (you’re receiving what they’re willing to pay you for the position).
Fear of Not Being “Likeable:”
Wouldn’t you rather be respected than be liked?
People don’t respect you as much if they pay you less. And, if your goal is to become a leader in your field, respect is essential, being liked is optional.
Fear of Not Being Worth What You Thought:
At least now you know and you can look at ways to increase your worth in the marketplace.
Building new skills, taking classes, seeking new projects, and finding a mentor are some of the ways you can increase your knowledge and skills. “Sharpening the Saw” (7 Habits) will make you worth more at your company or at another company.
You may have other fears. If you can’t find ways to refute them, you can work with your Coach on refuting them.
Use Affirmations to Shift Your Thought Patterns
If you feel stuck in not feeling you are worthy of a raise or new higher-paying job, one great tool you can use to get unstuck is affirmations.
Affirmations are positive thoughts that you practice so that they replace the negative thoughts that hold you back. Affirmations can help you shift on an ongoing basis to new, more positive thought patterns.
Valuable affirmations for owning your worth can include:
- I am worth __($X)____.
- I will ask for what I’m worth.
- I make a great contribution to my customers and/or organization.
- I am worth _($X)__ because I _(your skills or accomplishments)________.
It’s Time: Ask for What You’re Worth
Now that you’ve shifted your thinking and collected data to support your request, it’s time to take action.
If you’re currently employed, you can present the data to your boss to back up your salary increase request.
If you’re looking for a new job, you can enumerate your skills, experience, and accomplishments to show why you’re worth the salary and benefits you’re asking for.
So, go into your boss’ office, look him/her in the eye, and state your request with the reasons to support it.
Then stay silent and let the your boss speak first. Silence is power in a negotiation!