By Sam Willing
I have had a bad habit of putting myself into self-limiting boxes which has limited my earning potential. I am not a timid person but when it comes to money- I tend to shy away from asking for anything for fear of creating discomfort. ; A couple of years ago, I was offered a large internal promotion. It was a huge opportunity for me and my career growth. My boss came to me and offered me the role with a hefty increase in salary. However, I knew what the role was worth and had already decided that it was time to step up and be confident in my own skills and abilities, and that included not underselling myself. When I received the offer, I said with a shaky voice and a little tearful “My entire career I have never asked for anything. A raise, stock, a signing bonus. I have always told myself that I am so lucky to have my jobs and have always been grateful for the opportunities. I finally decided to switch my thinking and tell myself that this company is also lucky to have me” “This is a good offer, but it isn’t market value, and I’m only asking to be paid fairly. Taking less would be a disservice not only to myself but to the other women in this company. If you say no, I will stay and help you find my replacement, but this is a deal breaker for me.”
Let me just say, I was so scared during that conversation. My heart was pounding, and I was thinking, am I really prepared to leave my job over this?? But guess what happened? My boss also became tearful, and she said, “I am so proud of you, I wish I had the courage to have that conversation during my career, you are right, and I will make it happen.” Now, that conversation could have gone either way, but somehow, I knew in my heart I had to be bold. That day I learned a couple of important lessons: First, to ask for what I want because I just might get it and second, to have courage and confidence in my talents and abilities. It never pays to undersell yourself! Literally.
Why do we sometimes undervalue ourselves? Why do we attribute our success to “luck” instead of confidently saying “of course this happened to me because I’m talented and I deserve this”? These are the questions I have been asking myself over the last year, and now I am asking other women. It is amazing how common it is for us to undervalue our talents and compromise in so many different ways. I’m so passionate about helping women step into their power and feel confident in what they do in all aspects of their life. No more waiting for the perfect time, or to be perfectly prepared or to be the best, we don’t have to be the BEST to add value. Let’s GO!!