There’s something so beautiful about mornings. The sun slowly streams through your window and it’s like possibility is being reborn. A couple mornings ago, as I was enjoying my morning coffee drip and toast with apple butter, I took notice to a guest on the Today Show. The topic was personal finances and the guest was Kate Northrup, author of Money, A Love Story. Her book is a guide on how to refocus your understanding of money in order to take into account not only its monetary value, but its emotional value as well. Her perspective makes perfect sense to me and reminded me of how infrequently we, as a society and particularly as women, feel like we have enough to be happy.
I thought this would be a great subject to touch upon for the Choose Beauty Linkup because the way in which we choose to spend money can directly relate to how beautiful or valuable we consider our surroundings and belongings. Money is such a sore subject and I often find myself (especially lately with the move and the job instability) complaining that I don’t have enough of it. It’s easy to resort to this rant because it places blame on the external rather than admitting to the weaknesses of the internal.
I want to write on something a bit different today. The Love Yourself Linkup has been a great way to explore ideas and personal stories on self-image, but for this post I would like to focus on something we tend to forget about until it’s corrupted – the value of our professional work. It’s a different kind of self-love that’s not often given attention due to cultural norms in the American workforce. When I say value, I mean in it a variety of senses: monetarily, creatively, metaphorically. As young professionals in a depression era, we’re unfortunately subject to a skewed value system in which the unemployed abound and the employed tread lightly for fear of losing their coveted positions, even if they’re really not so great. Too often we let our desire to be liked dictate the course of action we take when wanting to take a stand for our worth.
I wanted to speak on this topic because I have way too many talented friends and colleagues who are being taken advantage of, without them even knowing it. Unfortunately, I’ve experienced it firsthand as well. It’s become so evident to me recently because I’m a mid-20-something meaning all of the people I socialize with are going through a similar professional crossroads. You usually begin at the bottom of the totem pole after you graduate college. I graduated 2010 with a Bachelor in Fine Arts, entering the workforce at probably the worst time to have such a degree. And so the imposed societal instinct is to suck it up and take what you can get, if you can get anything at all. Prove yourself worthy, exceed their expectations, and stay quiet. While I still believe this sort of work ethic is important, it also underscores the rip current that takes you further and further away from reaching the status and value you actually deserve.
Please find the courage within to fight for what you are worth.