I was recently in a coaching conversation with a client—now a friend—who was working through getting a new job and negotiating salary.
In a paradoxical twist, as it seems to always happen, she had some amazing insight that has helped me understand my value both professionally and personally.
She told this story:
In the 80s my father was invited to interview at a well known Wall Street firm. He said the interview went well. As they were wrapping up, he felt that they may be on the fence and he wanted to close the deal.
So at the end of the interview he said, “Here’s what I’ll do. I will work for free for you for 90 days, and after 90 days, if you don’t think I’m worth it, you can let me go.”
And that’s exactly what happened.
He worked at the firm with no pay for 90 days—and then they let him go.
He was stunned.
So he went back to the executive team and asked, “How can you let me go after I delivered on every single aspect of the job? I did everything you asked me to do and worked really hard to prove myself to everyone.”
After hearing him out, finally one of the executives said, “We are letting you go because, if you don’t know your worth, we don’t either.”
If you don’t know what you are worth, either professionally or personally, someone definitely will tell you. My friend and I were discussing salary, but the value of knowing your worth transcends work and relates to all avenues of life. What would happen if you truly evaluated your worth? What would you do differently?
Know your worth. Know who you are. And don’t apologize for it. Go out and be you, and dare others to stop you. You’re worth it!