Successful Black womenLiterally speaking, do you know your worth?

I recently, left my job. I quit for two reasons: 1) to pursue my dreams, and 2) I wasn’t getting paid enough. Unfortunately, I knew my worth and when I told my manager during one of our meetings she wasn’t feeling it. I stuck it out for a few more weeks, constantly replaying the meeting in my head. I knew I was great at my job. I constantly received praise from my manager (the one who denied my raise), the clients were very receptive toward me, and often rewarded me with gifts once their cases were closed. But more importantly, I knew my worth’s quantitative value.

I spent many hours researching, preparing, representing, drafting, explaining, and advocating for people and causes. I did my work and then some. During the time in which I was employed at my former job another employee quit prior to me rolling out too. But, before I decided to exit I took on that employee’s duties as well as my own. It was three months before that position was filled, and I truly believe my former manager did not fill the position right away because I juggled both jobs so well. Therefore, there was no need to fill a vacant position that was adequately being done by someone else already employed at the company. Very smart on the company’s part because one person fulfilling the duties created for two employees, but getting paid one salary was a win for them.

Aside from taking on more than my duties listed in my job description, I felt unappreciated and devalued. I was grateful for the opportunity as my profession is extremely competitive, but underappreciating my value kept nagging at me each night I stayed late at the office with a client, or to do research, mop the floors, shut down the computers, and then lock-up. (Yes, I said mop the floors).

One night I came home wrote down my basic official duties, and my unofficial responsibilities as well. I then researched similar positions at firms of a comparable size. After all of my research and calculations, I realized what I was making was significantly less than my colleagues in similar situations.

The next day I went into work, armed with my research, and quit…straight like that! I’ve always known my worth and I’ve never been above grinding or paying my dues within a profession. But, what I won’t do is devalue myself just for a job.

Can you put a monetary value on your skill set? I think most women should be able to do so, whether you’re an attorney or a stay-at-home mom. Your time, skill, and talent can be measured quantitatively. Take some time out of your busy day and research your true quantitative value.

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  • Stephanie

    I love this article. This article really put things into perspective for me. Since the first day that I took my job at the NJ Judiciary I wanted to quit. I have a Bachelor in Nutritional Science (Rutgers University) and a Master in Administrative Science (FDU) and there I am working as a Judiciary Clerk 2 making only 26,620.73 a year salary in which I ultimately only bring home 14,000 something a year *taxes and mandatory state fees are taken out*. The only reason I’ve kept this job up until 2 days ago is because it is so close to home. Still, everyday I’d walk into one of the most racist and belittling state office. I had an interview the other day and I accepted that position which gave me the opportunity to quit my job and pursue other opportunities.

    You have to know your worth and by no means accept anything less than what you deserve. People won’t give you what you deserve, they’ll give you what you negotiate.
    So many people at my previous job are purely miserable in every sense of the word. It’s not worth it to have a job that everyday you walk into the building you just want to leave. I know that some people have financial obligations. However, if you can have a plan A and a plan B. Try your absolute best to live your life with no regrets. You have only 1 life to live. Live it happy.

  • Whatever

    Ummm, people DO NOT quit your job until you have another one lined up.

    • Beautiful Mic

      Yeah, however, if you fin’nah loose your mind and/or raise up on them folks at your job – even if you don’t have one lined up, go ahead and resign.

      Take that unemployment; take the peace-of-mind.

  • Love the piece Shannon! It’s so true… It’s so easy to just settle for what people give you, but when you know your own worth it becomes that more difficult to accept it. It take so much more effort to leave the shadow of a comfortable position fearing the unknown, however if you truly believe in your self and your worth sometimes that is the only option. #inspired