INT. INTERVIEW ROOM – DAY
CHARISSE is sitting at a large table, across from TIM. She has a folio open in front of her and a pen in her hand. Tim is overlooking her resume intensely, glancing up at her occasionally.
CHARISSE: “…I think that was the hardest thing for me. Having to come on so quick and learn on the fly but I adjusted. It was intense but it made me stronger and I’m thankful for that experience.”
TIM: “Cool. So you currently work at a boutique furniture store. Tell me about that? What are some of your responsibilities?”
Charisse straightens up a little.
CHARISSE: “Yes, I’m the lead cashier so I take care of everything to do with the registers and customer orders. Our cashiers are separate than our sales team so I assist the supervisor with managing my team, with making schedules, closing out the registers, and a little book keeping. It’s a small business so I get a lot of hands on experience which is good. I get to see how a business runs from the ground up.”
TIM: “Good, good. So why do you think you’d be a good addition to our team?”
CHARISSE: “I’m really organized and great at multi-tasking. I’m a team player… I have a diverse skillset, I can wear many hats, and for a young company I think it’s important for anyone coming onboard to be versatile in their abilities.”
TIM: “Ok, good, good, and what would be your desired salary?”
CHARISSE: “Umm…I’m not sure. I’m flexible. I know it’s a new company…”
Tim starts shaking his head slightly.
TIM: “Come on Charisse…..what are you worth?”
CHARISSE: “Umm..15 an hour would be ok.”
Tim stares at her.
TIM: “15, final answer?”
He writes 15 on top of her resume and shakes his head again.
TIM: “You really should value yourself more.”
Tim tucks her resume into a folder.
TIM (CONT’D): “Thanks for coming in. We’re making decisions at the end of the week. Either way we’ll reach out and let you know what we’ve decided.”
CHARISSE: “Ok, thanks.”
TIM: “Do you have any questions for me before you leave?”
Tim glares at her, making Charisse shift uncomfortably. Charisse hesitates to answer. She looks down at the page of questions in her folio. She closes it.
CHARISSE: “Umm, no I think you’ve answered everything.”
TIM: “Ok. Nice meeting you.”
Tim stands and holds out his hand. Charisse shakes it and starts gathering her things. She makes her way to the door.
INT. LOBBY – DAY
CHARISSE takes a seat on a bench and lets out a long sigh. Tim’s words replay in her head…
“You really should value yourself more”
I remember the day this happened to me, words that I would never forget. I was taken aback, and even worse the way he looked at me when he said it. My anxiety kicked in to high gear. I shut down and just wanted the interview to be over. Why did I need someone to tell me to value myself more? Why was I too afraid to ask for more? I honestly thought that was a reasonable amount, but I guess I was wrong.
I was too caught up with trying to make a good impression, I didn’t want to jeopardize my chances. I picked a moderate figure because I thought it would get me the job over someone who may have asked for more, not realizing how toxic of a mindset that was. This was about 3 years ago.
It’s a shitty day when you come face to face with the realization that you’ve been undervaluing yourself for all these years. That wouldn’t be the last time I’d find myself in a situation where my worth was questioned or scrutinized. Here is what I learned:
You have to look out for yourself, ESPECIALLY when it comes to your worth.
Many years after that interview I still found myself allowing other people to tell me what I’m worth, even when I knew it wasn’t enough. One incident in particular left me feeling worthless for days. I couldn’t process what had happened and further more, I couldn’t believe that I let it happen to me. I had to take a moment to really think about why I keep undervaluing myself. Of course the issue is much deeper than what can de discussed in this simple blog post but here’s the just of it.
I was intimidated and didn’t want to be seen as difficult and/or jeopardize my chances at certain jobs. I low balled myself and I didn’t have the confidence to walk up in there and say “this is what my time and skills are worth. Take it or leave it”. I settled and hated myself for it.
I slipped into a brief period of depression and self loathing, giving myself a pretty intense pity party (a lot of tears were involved). One day, I woke up with a new attitude and forced myself to get up out of my feelings. I made a mistake, so what, it happens. I needed to learn from this and move on. That’s exactly what I did. I reminded myself of my goals and my purpose, making a promise to never let anything get in the way of that. A promise I intend to keep.
Before entering any situation you have to have a clear understanding of what you bring to the table. Possess the confidence to demand what that’s worth. Sometimes we can be a little to trusting of other’s people interest in us, thinking (or assuming ) that they have our best interest at heart. Never EVER be afraid to demand what you know you’re worth. You’re not being difficult and you won’t jeopardize your chances at getting the job. Speak up and never falter your voice for any reason. You are worth it!