SHOW ME THE MONEY
So, listen. There has been a lot going on in the US the last couple of days and months. I've seen posts that make me sad, happy and everything in between. But only one made me see red the other day and it took everything in me to not go crazy on this college acquaintance.
Why, you may ask? Because she was RATIONALIZING (or trying to) why women should, rightfully, make less money than men. I will agree it's ridiculous to compare your chapter one with another's chapter five. Or to compare your first job to somebody's tenth. But to try and JUSTIFY that it's acceptable, right and totally reasonable for a man with the same exact qualifications and experience - I'm talking comparing apples to apples here - to MAKE MORE MONEY THAN a woman is utterly ridiculous. My emotions were running rampant so I decided not to write a response and instead journal it out here.
:::Are you screaming yet? Because I am.:::
Now, I"m going to take a minute to breathe and regain my composure. Let's discuss all the reasons why this type of thinking is, not only wrong, but insanely dangerous. First, let's talk about self-esteem issues. If you are willing to believe this, you have GOT to work on your own self-worth. If you have dreams, if you have things you want to accomplish in life, there is NO REASON why you should be willing to accept this concept. Are you really willing to believe that you aren't as good as you know you are? Second, you are setting yourself up for failure long term. You are limiting your earning potential by accepting this limiting belief. Since when have you started to settle in life? Or, rather, when did you start? Because that is exactly what's happening here. You are telling yourself that you aren't good enough that you don't deserve more. That's utter nonsense. Third, playing it safe doesn't suit you. Yes, you've got a job, but you are afraid to rock the boat. You are banking on this stability of your 9 - 5 to keep you going for, what, the next 30 years? What would happen if you did stand up for yourself? What would happen if you said, "I am worth it. I am worth more."? Stable is boring. Stable keeps you stuck in the sense that you aren't going after your dreams. Are you willing to play small, to trade your happiness and financial well-being for the stability of a situation that keeps you underpaid and losing out on some sizeable financial earnings? Finally, you are sending a signal to the world that they should walk all over you. Thinks about. If you can't stand up for yourself at work, doing the thing you do the majority if your time, how will you ever stand up for yourself in other situations? You are setting the tone for your life and you are basically saying that you don't care enough about yourself to take a stand. Is that how you want others to perceive you? You know that you are talented and that you are meant to make a great contribution to the world. So, why are you selling yourself short and hiding your potential in this way?
There was an article I read the other day that quoted Science journal as saying that by age six boys "...are more likely prone to tell everyone 'I am smart' or 'I am strong'..." whereas girls "...are more conciliatory and look at someone else's point of view." This is heartbreaking. Where did we go wrong? How did this happen? Yet again, you see that same thing happening here, with a thirty-something college educated woman. She is willing to accept that this situation, this inequality of pay among colleagues, is totally fine and almost natural.
WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE?! It's always made me a bit loopy to think that I wasn't being paid fairly. When I was younger and still early into my corporate career, I was just the same. I felt lucky and grateful to be given a job. I hardly ever fought for myself or my worth. Then, one day, when my friend became my boss he happened to tell me, friend to friend, that not only was I underpaid but I was grossly underpaid versus the rest of the our team. Now, at the time, I was managing the largest brand in the portfolio. Yes, I was the younger than most. But, there were also a few with whom I was the same age with the same amount of experience. I WAS LIVID. At that point, I had learned to stand up to the corporate tyranny. Screw the little girl. She should be lucky to just have a job. F that. I knew what I was worth and I wasn't going to work for anybody who didn't recognize it. Nobody should.
So, with that, I started jumping jobs (again). I had done it when I first graduated, feeling lost and unsure of my professional role. And, now, I was doing it again, but this time I had a bigger purpose. I knew my worth and I valued it. I wanted other people to recognize and value it, too. Whenever I started to feel they did not, I would make moves and find a new job, a new home where I felt welcome and wanted. Then I had a major wakeup call. Would I ever find a boss that truly valued me the way I wanted to be valued? Would I ever be happy working for someone else? If I got really honest with myself, no. The answer is no. Deep down I knew I wanted to be my own boss, to create my own destiny and write my own rules. I could not be confined to a box and looked at as a number. I wanted more for my life and the only way that was possible was if I created it.
Let me be clear. I get that entrepreneurship isn't for everyone. But if you are tired of being overlooked, under-compensated or just tired of someone trying to justify the reasons you aren't good enough for a promotion, then it might be exactly what you need. You know you don't need someone else to validate that for you. You know what you are worth. I know you do.
Thank You Universe,