earning what you are worth?
How easy or difficult was it to
answer that question? This question often incites an array of
emotions from women. Some may become angry feeling that a persons
worth in not measured in dollars. Others can clearly say yes or no,
and many are not sure. Money cannot buy happiness or self worth. But
it can provide quality of life, adequate healthcare, comfortable
retirement, food and clothes for our children and a comfortable
lifestyle. It is important to earn what you are worth! According to
the U.S Department of Labor, women working full-time, year-round, earn
72% of what men earn. The median annual earnings of private sector
workers participating in a 401 (K) plan in 1993 was $36, 400 for men
and only $23, 920 for women. The reasons for women earning less are
complex and range from societal issues as the glass ceiling to
personal issues that are different for each woman. Underearning could
also be the culprit behind your lack of financial reward.
Underearning is a chronic pattern of earning below your potential. The term underearning was first coined by Jerald's Munids in his book "Earn What You deserve" He defined underearning as "one who makes less than is needed or desired, for no apparent reason, despite efforts to do otherwise." Underearning is not voluntary simplicity which is a conscious choice to live on less in order to create a simpler, saner life. Underearning is when an individual is earning below their potential.
Certain characteristics tend to apply to women who are underearning. They may unknowingly put self limiting caps on their ability to earn more. Here are some examples. Many women who are underearning have a high tolerance for low pay, or may stay in positions too long where they are poorly paid. If you are self employed, there is a tendency to avoid marketing yourself or raising fees. Money matters cause stress and anxiety resulting in poor record keeping, and a tendency to avoid knowing the details of your financial situation. Women who are underearning may take great pride in their ability to survive on very little. They often put everyone needs ahead of their own and tend to not take care themselves properly. Most underearning women are intelligent and dedicated professional women who are selling themselves short believing they cannot do better. (For a more complete list of characteristics of underearning visit www. ChangeWrks.net
What can be done about underearning? Changing the patterns that lead to underearning requires a shift in thinking and a willingness to be uncomfortable. It may require facing fears and changing beliefs that are no longer serving you. This is the inner work of wealth. Anyone can do the outer work of wealth as taking a marketing class or learn a new negotiation strategy, but if your internal fears keep you from acting on these techniques, then the outer work becomes counter productive. Spend some time answering the following questions to begin your own inner work. Remember we are only limited by our own beliefs.
1. What emotions do I feel when I am actively engaged in doing financial matters?
2. Is what I am earning meeting my financial and personal needs?
3. What are my beliefs about earning more income? (ex. Would have to work too hard, my profession pays poorly)
4. What is behind my wish to earn more? How would my life improve? Or not improve?