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Equalize the Playing Field Early

Know your worth and don't settle for less than what your counterparts are receiving.

When I was in my early 20s, I worked in a very male dominated industry. Every year when it came time for pay raises, I received less than my male counterparts despite having put in more work responsibilities, longer hours and a greater dedication to my job. New interns would be hired with starting salaries that exceeded mine. My female coworkers experienced the same, with one being promoted to "Assistant" Manager after 7 years of exceling in her field. She quit shortly after.

Many of you may have had similar experiences. You’ve had to communicate your value and learn how to understand your true value so you will never sell yourself short again. Your dreams and hard work are too valuable to just give them away because you allow others to place what they believe is your worth. How do we overcome this constant struggle? The first step is to believe in yourself. You can’t put a value on yourself unless you believe in yourself first. This means you have to believe that you can achieve results, that you are passionate about your career, that you are an equal contributor as your peers and to keep your goals in sight. Believe in yourself, even if nobody else will. Because your value is directly linked to your belief. Read that again.

If you treat yourself less than your worth, you will never appreciate your potential. It’s in your potential that your true value lies. You can’t figure out what you’re worth unless you know what you’re capable of doing. Your potential is intangible and a lot of it comes down to your mindset. If your mindset is focused and you stay disciplined in achieving your goals then you will do amazing things and most likely exceed your potential. When you are starting off in your career, you may not have reached your full potential yet, but it's where you’re heading that determines your value.

Your value is directly linked to your belief. Believe in yourself even if nobody else will.

Communicating this effectively is how you make everyone see what you’re worth. Ignoring your potential will significantly reduce your value and result in you being undervalued which will eventually lead you to be discouraged, unmotivated and settle for less than you deserve.

Anything that ignites your passion fuels your value. If you are passionate about your job or career, it motivates you to push yourself further and contribute more to the overall company. Your purpose fuels your goals which in turn, allows you to achieve amazing things, driving your value even higher. Passion is infectious and it only makes people value you higher because it’s so rare.

Knowing your value means nothing if you don’t know how to communicate it. You have to communicate your value with respect and remove your ego from the equation. “Replace ego with a belief in yourself and that you are enough”. Value comes down a lot to how you communicate it and the way you communicate it. Knowing your true value will help you in every aspect of business and life. It will make your decision-making skills sharper and you’ll be able to figure out the ideas, people and challenges you should align yourself with. Above everything, believe in yourself.

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