Everyone knows we are in a down economy. If you don’t, then you are either richer than rich, or have been living in a cave for the past two years. Just because you empathize with the state of the economy, does not mean you should forfeit your worth or value when it comes to what someone is willing to pay you. So many of you think that you may have made a certain salary, earned a certain income level in the past and you can’t or don’t deserve to ask for the same amount of money now. What’s changed? Have you gotten less experience over the years? Have you depreciated in value? Just because you may not have worked in awhile or are trying it on your own for a change, doesn’t mean you are worth any less?
Finding the balance between what you are worth on the market and selling yourself short is the difference between buying a designer outfit on sale or buying a complete knock-off. Sure you wouldn’t want to pay more for a knock-off, but you would want to pay more for the real thing, even if you can get a slight discount. You should not hang the “for sale” sign around your neck even though you may be out of work. Out of work doesn’t equate to “free and easy.” Think of the last time you wanted something that was well, free?
Deciding your value is as much as honoring your worth in a market where despite a lagging economy, companies are still willing to pay for top talent. You just need to decide whether you fall in the category of “top talent.” If you feel you are lacking, then you will attract the lack you have become. If you feel your worth, then you will attract what you are worth. It’s really that simple. Now, that doesn’t mean if offered a job that is slightly less than what you were making you should jump at it. You might negotiate more vacation, better benefits, flexible schedule, something that will make the offer match your worth.
Selling yourself short and taking compensation that frankly you were earning ten years ago, however sends a sign that you are not keeping up with the market and you are willing to short sell yourself to close the deal. Just because you are out of work does not mean you should be treated like a “foreclosure.” You are a valuable property and you need to feel that way in order to attract the kind of job offers you want and more over, ones that you deserve. Making the most out of the down economy doesn’t mean you are a discounted item ready for the clearance rack. You are the product and the culmination of years of experience and expertise in your field no matter what you have done in the past.
Settling for second best or less than you deserve, sends the message that you are not worth your weight in gold. If you don’t feel your value, no one else offering you a job will either. Having the focus and the knowledge that you are worth a fair market price even when jobs are scarce, sends a message to your future employer that they will get the best value for a highly skilled talent. Hey, no one said it would be easy to find the job of your dreams even when the job market may be taking longer to turn around. But no one is asking you to take less than you are worth, unless of course you feel less than what you are worth.
You need to reflect on the value of what you bring to the table in any venture and don’t sell yourself short. Because even in a down economy, people will hire the right people at any cost to get the job done. Before you venture out to your next job interview, make sure you have a fair and honest conversation with yourself about what your market value is and should be. Remember what you made in the past and put a premium on it. If you don’t, you will likely fall victim to selling yourself short when in fact, you should be selling yourself to win!
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