One thing I’ve never been very good at is asking to be paid more money. Or really asking for money in general. On the flip side, I definitely always want to make more money. When I first started working in TV, I would host shows for free and work in production for below minimum wage to prove that I had the dedication (and hopefully, talent) to deserve to be there.
Paying your dues and working hard at something you love is great, but there comes a point where everyone deserves to be paid – and paid what they’re worth. I have friends stuck in corporate jobs at the same freaking salary that they started with five years ago – I absolutely guarantee you that they’re better at their job and more valuable now than the day they started. So why the hell are they being payed the same amount?
Probably because they never asked for more money. The universe usually works like this: ask and you shall receive.
Ask for money, get money. Stay complacent, stay in the same pay bracket.
It can be excruciatingly hard to put a value on yourself and then actually ask for that amount. If you’re an employee, it’s kind of terrifying to ask for a raise. If you’re a semi-self employed creative like me, it can be really hard to start charging your audience for something you like to do so much you’d probably do it for free forever. But the value we place on ourselves does make a difference – we all deserve to be compensated for our talent and hard work.
I love blogging, writing, and talking on television. I do it because I love expressing myself, connecting with you guys, and getting to be endlessly creative and slightly crazy. But I also am not shy about the fact that I want to be a millionaire, want to be my own boss and work from home, and want to grow the AEYC brand to have a global reach in the form of books, conferences, and a video channel. SO – what’s been tricky for me is to strike a balance between offering quality content for free, and making money. A lot of people think that blogging is hobby, not a career, but it takes serious hours of work and most of us run our blogs like anyone else runs a business. Asking to be paid for this feels weird, but I know that my time, effort, and skills are valuable and I deserve to be compensated.
We all do. If you’ve been an Executive Assistant for three years and you’re killing it in the game, you deserve a raise and possibly a promotion. If you’re ready to move from server to manager at your restaurant because you know you could run a team like nobody’s business, you deserve that upgrade.
Typically, men are not as hesitant to ask for a specific amount of money as women are. No fucking idea why honestly, other than the fact that women have traditionally had some weird social standards drilled into our heads. When heading into a job interview, do your research and see what other people in your field with your level of experience are being paid, and be prepared to say that number out loud – and be ready to negotiate.
If it’s been over 6 months since you’ve last talked to your boss about a raise or promotion and you’re a badass employee, it’s time to send an email asking for a face to face. Come up with a figure for your hourly or salary that you truly feel represents the worth of your work and talent, and present it confidently and with well researched facts to back it up. I pinky promise – you will not get fired. There is a small chance you won’t get what you asked for, but you will definitely plant a seed and impress your boss with your well crafted ballsiness.
If you’re self employed, find your strong points and put a monetary value on them. A great writer? Keep busting out blog posts for free, but put your best work into an e-book and sell it. If you’re a photographer, don’t be afraid to raise your rates as your skills and experience grow – you might price yourself out of some clients, but you’ll be able to book better gigs, be more creative, and start bringing in the money you deserve.
Bottom line: don’t be afraid of asking for money. You’re the only person who can truly and adequately decide what you’re worth. Do your research, set the number, and go for it confidently and passionately.
I want to see your businesses, blogs, and passions! Link your website below in the comments and tell me the #1 thing that sets you apart and makes you valuable.