Your boss, your clients, the current climate of your industry, or an array of other external factors can significantly impact your earning potential.
But if you don’t understand your own worth, you could be sabotaging your paycheck yourself.
Dr. Shefali Tsabary, clinical psychologist and best-selling author of the “The Conscious Parent,” knows this firsthand.
“I spent the last 10 years of my life completely in fear of asking for what I was worth. I lost money and I didn’t make right investments in myself because I just undervalued myself by hundreds of dollars at a time,” Tsabary told Farnoosh Torabi on an episode of her “So Money” podcast. “I undercut myself so severely that I lost huge opportunities to attract wealth and to leverage myself and position myself in the right way.”
“I would see other women in my position charging four times than I was and I would be envious. I would be like, ‘Darn it, how did she do it?’ And then I would judge them. Because I couldn’t do it, I would put a negative on them such as, ‘Oh they’re so greedy. I would never.’ But inside, I was dying to do the same and envying them and then resenting my clients.”
Tsabary’s ‘aha moment’ came when her husband told her step up and ask for more instead of living in fear and silently judging peers for doing what she wished she could do herself. She finally realised that it was ok to put a number on what her time was worth.
“He taught me how to dare to ask and I remember I would be so terrified,” she says. “When I first raised my price by $25, I would be so scared and then when my client would say, ‘Of course.’ I’d be like, ‘Oh my God, I wasted six months for $25, I was so scared.'”
With a simple shift in mindset — from “I’m not worth that much” to “Yes, I am” — Tsabary was able to take control of her finances and start earning as much as her peers.
However, Tsabary isn’t alone in her fear. According to a 2015 Levo reader survey, more than 60% of women feel uncomfortable negotiating their salary. Whether it’s because of their own socialised tendencies, lack of experience negotiating, or fear of being perceived negatively for speaking up, professional women are failing to realise their worth.
It’s time to end that mindset.
“We have the right to asking for money to compensate for our services that we will break out of this web, this spell that I was in for my entire decade of my 20s,” Tsabary says.