Monday, May 7, 2012

What we're worth

I just had to email someone my "salary requirements."  I am so nervous.  How do you say how much you think you should be worth?  I changed my numbers like three times, couched them in polite sentences, and finally pressed "send".

Google sources pretty much told me to blow off the question with a B.S. politician's change-the-subject sort of answer, but I think that is disrespectful.

Nothing is happening at my job.  It makes me feel not worth very much.  But looking at new opportunities, refining my resume, and creating a portfolio of professional writing samples kind of made me feel like my services could be worth a lot, and that I deserved more.

I'm scared that she will see the numbers I wrote and think, "Who does this girl think she is?  I could get a hundred people to do this for cheaper than that.  She doesn't deserve that, and she's BAD for thinking that she does."  I know, I sound like a 5-year-old.

But then I think of how happy I would be to work very hard for an amount that felt fair, and that pushed me to be worth it, to add value and make a contribution.  I want to be challenged.  I want to feel good about myself.

You always hear that women don't get paid much because we are too scared to ask for raises or to negotiate salaries.  What if I internalized that and now I just asked for too much?  Like to compensate for all the women who don't ask for what they're worth?  eeek.     

What if I am influenced by my husband's promotion to think that such jumps in rank and salary are the natural way of things, when really they are rare and only happen when you have connections that I don't have? 

What if I missed my opportunity for a happy, healthy work environment by emailing the wrong numbers?  What if she asks what I'm making now and is appalled that I asked for such a jump in numbers?

What I really want to say is that if I had a crystal ball that told me your organization and job were the right fit for me, and that I would make work-friends who I could talk to, and I would feel useful and competent and healthy, and I don't have to be afraid if I get pregnant or need to deal with endo at work, then I don't care much about the money, just please please be the right fit!  But now I'm in the game and I've got to play the game until it's over.

In my workday, I feel like I'm incubating secrets like a fat hen sitting on breakable eggs.  I'm terrified of having three jobs in a row that are a bad fit.  Currently stewing in number two.

I'm also scared of what a hard job plus potential pregnancy/kids plus husband's hard job could mean.  We are not that great at managing our household as it is...  Is this all too much?

Did a walk-a-thon this weekend and my hamstrings and hips were so tight.  Because all I do all week is sit crunched up in this chair like a bored zombie zig zag, staring at a screen all day five days a week.  Sometimes I opt to use the bathroom on another floor and it's like - ooh!  an outing!  stairs!  Then I come back and sit down again in this never-ending silence.  Which makes me wonder if I should have said I would work for anything for my freedom.  Instead I wrote down bigger numbers than have ever applied to me before.  Shit.

Sorry for the freak-out post.  Hopefully will return to normal programming soon.

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