We were walking through the tall trees of High Park. It was a little chilly and we were both in fall jackets.
“Did you have a chance calculate your sales for 2017 last week?” I asked. “No, I didn’t get to that,” she replied.
It was the beginning of my second coaching session with a new client. I’d given her to items to work on during the week:
1. Start to think where you want to be in your career and your life in 10 years
2. Calculate how much you brought in sales for the company last year
In her first session we’d realized that one the core beliefs that was holding her back was, “I’m lazy.” She worked for a company that didn’t always value her work and so I wanted to her to calculate her sales for the year to quantify her contributions.
The next week we were back at the park again.
“Did you have a chance calculate your sales for 2017?” I asked. “Yes!” she said enthusiastically. “Okay, so what were your contributions?” I asked. “It was just shy of one million dollars,” she said, smiling.
“Nice!!” I replied, “That’s great.”
As she said it, she stood taller and walked more confidently. She knew what she was worth.
“And I’ve already put it into use,” she continued, “Yesterday, the president told me that we didn’t have the finances to hire another co-op student and I reminded him I just landed this other contract.
He said that that money would ‘only cover my salary’ but because I’d done the math I said, “Umm… that’s not true,” and was able to convince him to hire the student.
Knowing your worth will change the way that you carry yourself and reduces the amount of bullshit you’re willing to tolerate. Knowing your worth is the The #1 way to earn more respect and influence in your career.
Entrepreneur and best-selling author Tony Robbins says that we all get what we tolerate. So if you tolerate being treated or paid poorly, unfortunately it will continue to happen until you stop tolerating it.
Knowing your worth will change things what you tolerated and in turn you’ll earn more respect and influence with your peers.
So how do you calculate your worth?
For better or for worse, we live in a capitalist world so start by calculating your financial contributions. There are a couple of ways you can do this:
- If you work in sales, like my client, this is pretty straight forward – add up all your sales for the year.
- If you’re on the ground making the projects possible – calculate how much the projects you’re helping to implement are worth and the approximate percentage of the work that you do to calculate your financial contributions to the organization.
- If you work for a non-profit, things often operate on grants. So ask yourself, how
grant dollars have you brought into the company?
- If you’re a teacher, nurse or similar profession it becomes more difficult because what is the price of human life. That being said you can calculate the number of students or patients you’ve positively impacted in a year or over the course of your career to give yourself a sense of your contributions.
- And don’t forget to add in the unpaid labour you do:
A man calculated the financial contributions of his wife stays at home with their son and calculated that she contributes $73,960 to the family by playing the role of nanny, personal chef, laundry service and more. It’s a pretty sweet story – read the whole thing here.
- And of course, it’s not all about money. As well as knowing your financial contributions, what other contributions have you made. Have you supervised students, helped out new staff. List all the ways you’ve helped the organization succeed.
I had to ask my client to do this two weeks in a row and yes it’s not fun to do but once you do, it will change the way you see yourself and how you interact with others going forward.
With this client, knowing her worth changed all future negotiations with her employer. Now, 6 months later, she’s in a new role where she reports directly to the CEO and is focused on the creative solutions part of the job that she loves and is well compensated.
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I’m excited for you to take steps towards a more fulfilling life.
Career Burnout Coach