Know Your Worth
I've begun to think of myself as someone who is not that great at interviews - because there has to be a reason I'm still at home chilling - but the one part of interviews that makes me really uncomfortable is when they ask about salary expectations. Now I'm not a person that gets nervous before or during interviews, but I do get nervous when that question is posed because I never know how to answer.
I truly have no idea what a person in my field with my education and experience should be making in The Bahamas. I know when I went to college they told me that someone with my degree would be looking at $30,000 as a starting salary plus or minus a couple thousand so that number always stuck in my brain. I know that at my first job in the good ole US of A, I was making about $33,000 a year before taxes. I know that in America they talk about wages in hourly and yearly amounts, while here at home they talk about it in weekly and yearly amounts. I also know that when I first moved back home, I was making a grand total of $13,000 per year.
To go from making $33,000 a year, $640 a week, $16 per hour to making $13,000 per year, $250 per week, $6.25 per hour was a huge shock to my system and left me completely confused about what I SHOULD be receiving. In that position I did ended up getting a few raises but after nearly 3 years, I was still making significantly less than I was in my first job straight out of college.
As a young person, who is just entering their career, it's hard to deduce what I should be making as you quickly learn not to talk about salary. However, in recent conversations with friends - all of whom have at least one college degree, several of them making that magic number for me of $30,000 per year, or in some cases more, while I have yet to crack it and I now have a second degree and years more experience than I did when I was first employed.
In some interviews I have said that I expect to make $30,000 and I end up harping on that for days and weeks after the interview has ended because I'm never sure if that's the reason I haven't gotten a call back because they aren't prepared to pay that much.
When interviewers ask my short term goals, I can't say it's to make $30,000 a year because that's so money focused - but it's true. I was led to believe that that's what I could expect to make in 2012, and 4 years later, aside from my one year staying in America, I have yet to make that.
People always say to know your worth and while most times they're speaking metaphorically, I also believe that you should know your worth in a dollar amount and I have yet to find out what that dollar figure is for me. I don't know what a reasonable expectation is here. And the dollar amount I previously had in my head I have yet to reach. So while a small part of me wants to say $30,000 because I have yet to reach that, a bigger part of me knows I'm worth much more. I guess when you've put so much money into having this great perceived worth and it doesn't come, it plays on ones psyche. And It's definitely playing on mine. So this year, I'm determined to put a dollar value on my worth.