Know Your Value?

I fancy myself as an intelligent person. I am not arrogant enough to believe I am always the smartest person in the room, but I am also not lacking in self-confidence that would deny me the ability to be a contributor when the call arises. I am well aware of my strengths and weaknesses in the global workforce. I am also acutely aware of my value. I am able to read, write, and/or articulate a well thought out point in under a minute.

So what? Yes, the two words that can crumble even the most confident façade. As a writer (oh the shame! I started a sentence with a preposition), I work from home and scour the internet for writing jobs that allow me freedom of time, money, and independence. I have dozens of sites that I visit regularly to seek projects. I have sites that lead to other sites and create a domino effect of epic proportions. I seek the thrill of writing the cover letter, editing my resume to fit the needs of the client, and attaching relevant writing clips when necessary.

Some sites let you just apply for the job you are seeking, and some have you sign up and become a member creating an account, and actually bidding on a particular job. This is all well and good, yet there are jobseekers out there that lack infinite wisdom in the world in which they wish to work (say that ten times in a row!). I have seen clients place a job post stating they wish to hire someone to write 300-500 word blogs and will pay $1 per blog. I have also seen others bid on jobs and have dropped their rate as low as $3 an hour.

This is absolutely astonishing to me. I do not understand this mindset at all. I understand there are reports of the economy being less than favorable, and jobs are hard to come by. True. But at $3 an hour, would it not be better to simply find work at the local mall, restaurant, or gas station? These are all fine jobs that offer steady paychecks with an honorable workday. Now, I understand there are different circumstances all around the world that create a different dichotomy of options for individuals. I understand desperation, depression, and fear that drives one to “do whatever it takes” to put food on the table. I truly do.

Yet, if you want to take pride in your wages, you must take pride in yourself to earn that wage. The job that generates the applicant to enter a bidding war where one must drop their rates so significantly to acquire the job just does not seem worth it to me. I have worked hard in my education, my subsequent writing courses, and my ability to articulate my value to my clients. When a writer devalues their own worth, they not only hurt themselves, but they hurt the trade by undercutting the value of excellent writing. People will pay significant money to generate quality writing campaigns; whether it be a simple blogging project, to a national sales campaign.

Yet clients will only pay you what you think you are worth. I am one to be confident in my value and what I can do for my clients. I am confident enough to place my fees right on my website. If a client contacts me, both I, and they, already know what the range is they are expected to pay – and they are willing to do it for good copy. Writing is not simple, and certainly not easy for many people. But it isn’t just in writing. It’s in any field. Take the time to learn your worth. Take the time to figure out what you are willing to work for, and then work hard to achieve that goal. Do not sell yourself short!

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