A Simple Story About Remembering Your Value

Recent events in my life have provided an important reminder: don’t let others determine your value.

As some readers will be aware, I have been looking for a job recently. As a recent immigrant to Canada, my situation is a bit different from your typical job seeker. Despite having a Bachelor degree and close to 3 years experience in my chosen industry, I have had trouble convincing some employers to take me on at the level I want without “Canadian experience”.

When the first potential employer told me I would need to settle for an entry level position, I paid little attention. After hearing this for the third time, I started to fear this would be the case. So last week when I was offered an entry level position, I came very close to accepting it.

Also last week I interviewed for my ideal position – one that is both well paid and will advance my career forwards. Yesterday I was told I have the job.

I would love to say that I never stopped believing in myself, but that isn’t true. After being told on multiple occasions that I would need to start at the bottom and gain some Canadian experience, I started to believe this. In retrospect, I wish I had remembered my true capabilities and never gotten stuck entertaining doubt in my mind.

The more I think about it, the more I think this story can apply to many areas of life. For example, many people are trapped in unhappy relationships. Why they don’t leave can be complicated, but one potential reason is that they have lost their sense of worth and forgotten they deserve better. When someone else questions your own perceived worth or value, whether directly with words or indirectly by their actions, it is easy to fall victim to believing them.

So to sum things up, the best judge of your talents, abilities, value, and worth should always be you (except if you are one of those “singers” in American Idol who seems to have no idea that they can’t sing). For this reason, don’t let another person negatively influence how you see yourself. Oh, and wish me well for my new job :) .

14 thoughts on “A Simple Story About Remembering Your Value”

  1. Peter, this is great news! Congratulations and all the best in your new endeavor. Thank-you, too, for the reminder about that important lesson. For people selling services, for example, others often don’t seem to realise what it takes to provide those services and want it to be cheap. If you start to believe them, you go under. Don’t let it happen! So glad you were rescued from that fate!

  2. I can truly relate to this, Peter. I was unemployed for 5 months back in the dot.com bust, and I had trouble finding a job that would utilize my skills and pay as well. I went job hunting from project management all the way down to PC tech support. I did believe that I would get a better job, and I didn’t stop trying. Here I am now in a job that I like and pays pretty well.

    Congrats on your new job!

  3. Patrick, thanks!

    Mary, fantastic example! It is always important to consider the motives of other people, eg people naturally want to pay low prices for services so they may question the value you place on it. If you are self-assured about the price you are asking, they are in turn more likely to accept it.

    zeni, thanks, I sometimes miss things at 5am in the morning! I have added a “be” so that it makes sense.

    Rudy, thanks for sharing your example. I have learned my lesson, so I won’t (potentially) undersell myself again (hopefully)! :)

  4. Congratulations, Peter. My own job is in a bit of flux right now, so I can identify… hopefully I will find a way to make my living from my writing some time soon.

    PS – What’s up with Feedburner’s subscriber numbers today? I see your is down by 40-50%, too.

  5. Congratulations!

    I took ten years out to stay home with my daughter when she was little. When it was time to go back to work I had to upgrade my computer skills to get back into the running. My husband didn’t understand for a while and thought I just wanted to go to school instead of working. I hung in there and in a couple of years landed the best job of my life–great pay, a chance to use my talents, trips to Europe, etc. Yep, as Steve Jobs says, “Don’t settle.”

  6. Congratulations on the new job, if your bog is any indication of how good you will be at your job, I’m sure you will do just fine. I have really enjoyed your site since finding it several weeks ago. I am thinking about posting an article on blogs that inspire and motivate me to blog myself. I hope you do not mind if I add you to the list.

    Keep up the amazing work!!!

  7. Congrats for your new job.
    I can related to this story too well. When I graduated with BA (with honors) from a US college and started looking for a job, some people looked at me and asked if I speak English — while I was speaking English (with a little accent, yes) and they were looking at my resume. One even suggested I start at the bottom, like busing tables. Eventually, I got a job at a major bank that utilized my bilingual skills, but the accent issue bothered my mind for a long time — until quite recently, in fact.

    Have you noticed that all VALUES are perceived?

    P.S. I hate to sound like a salesperson, but just in case someone may be interested in how I finally let go of my accent issue, it is here:
    How to Love your Imperfections

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