Another step forward

I am at yet another cross-road in my life. Being a lover of change, I find myself at these often. This latest one is fairly different from others in the past. This is one that is truly making me stretch my belief in myself and I find myself battling the voices in my head.

We all have these voices in our heads that tell us we can’t do something; either we are not smart enough, not strong enough or even not quite ready yet. These are the moments that I rely previous successful experiences to bolster my gusto. This time is a bit different and I find it puzzling.

Normally money isn’t written about in a personal growth blog, however, I definitely connect finances with people’s perception of self-worth – therefore it fits here. I know this is an issue I share with a large number of women and I do believe it is an area which needs more attention for many of us. The cross-road I am facing involves changing jobs.

The issue I struggle with now is the worth and value of my skills and capabilities. I have a difficult time negotiating salary – most women do because we are not programmed to describe our value but to accept someone else’s determination of our value. This is something I have just recently (about time – I’m over 40!!!) begun to take on in my personal life. I am learning to walk away from situations that I feel are not what I deserve, and I have the understanding now, not to accept less. This has been a lifetime lesson to learn, and I’ve still got a bit to go, but I am definitely improving on this front.

This situation now takes this skill one step further!! I am being faced with a new position in a new company and they want me to tell them, what I expect to get paid. Now I have just begun to get the hang of what is less than I believe I deserve, but no one has asked me to put into words what I believe I deserve or am worth, or asked me what I want to deserve!! I don’t have a lot of past experiences where I have been confident enough to throw out a big number (and I plan to throw out a big number!!) so this is completely uncharted territory! I spend a lot of time these days sitting with the number I wish to request and justifying it to myself. I find this a bit uncomfortable – more than I want to.

If I indeed wish to live a life without limits, why do I find it so easy to put a limit on what I think I’m worth to a prospective employer? Why is it so difficult for me to ask for what I believe I deserve both personally and professionally?

I think this is the one time I will try to think and act like a man. I will set my goal (of course with a bit of wiggle room) and believe that I not only am worth this, but deserve this, and if they want to utilize my excellent skills, they will have to take a chance that I am indeed worth what I say I am. Of course, I expect they will believe they are right in the end – to quote an old advertising line, “I’m worth it!” I may not believe that with all my being at this moment, but I do know if I say it, I will do everything in my power to live up to my expectations which are likely higher than anyone else’s.

Wish me luck in my manly experience! May this give me the gusto I need to bring it from my professional life into my personal life as well!

Do you know what you’re worth? I’m finding it a good question to ponder regardless of this career move. Maybe you should try it too!

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Time wasted may not be wasted time…

I was listening to Steven Covey the other day and he was talking about an assignment he gave his students. He told them to envision that this was their last semester on earth, the scenario maintained that they had to stay in school, and determine how they would chose to live. What they might do with their time and how they might live the next few months was the task. This is the same type of exercise as “living as if you were dying” in my opinion.

When faced with this scenario, the students, chose to do things differently with their limited time, as one would expect. They chose to spend their days differently and chose different classes – they got more serious about school and what they wanted to learn. They also became more focused on confirming their personal relationships. They made sure they used their time for serious matters and did not waste it as sometimes youth may do.

This exercise made me re-think if living each day as if it were numbered limits the freedom of being carefree or maybe even a little frivolous with your time. I can see this quite vividly in the case of college students as I have two in my household. I urge them each to be aware that time is a gift, but at the same time, I know they are living as college students, and not as though their days are numbered. This allows them a bit of levity in their days and to focus on the entire college experience which most definitely contains a bit of frivolity! All the lessons to be learned while in college do NOT happen in the classroom!

Since I believe there is a value for others, I see there is value for me to be maybe just a little less serious about time and how much I may or may not have. So I begin to search for the balance. Living my life in a manner that will create the legacy I wish to leave behind, living presently and in the moment all the while planning to be around for a long time, and making sure that I can maintain and support myself in the way that I wish to live.

It is interesting to me that having lived my days so long trying to make sure I could squeeze everything out of each one, that maybe I was missing my days. I am a youngest, so a little of the “I don’t want to miss anything” comes from missing things since I was too young to do what others were doing. I also grew up with a mother that was very sick off and on throughout my entire life (hence “tomorrows are not guaranteed” is indelibly impressed upon me). However, maybe I’ve been too concerned about making sure I don’t miss any opportunity that I’ve missed the opportunity and the lessons that come from being irresponsible and a bit frivolous sometimes.

Hmmm, food for thought!

A perfect place to waste some time