For F’s Sake, Price Your Worth Appropriately

This is kind of like a part two to my previous post, where I talked about confidently telling people “no.” Today I am going to discuss the importance of realizing your worth. Let’s talk about worth in the context of job searching and in business. In many cases, job opportunities will have to be turned down if the employer’s perception of your value does not align with your own. And that’s okay.

There will be many instances (and not just in business) when your worth will be tested. But here’s the kicker: no one decides the level of your worth aside from you. So you can decide to take a $20,000 pay cut at your next opportunity (after a thorough negotiation process, more on that in a future blog post), or you can choose to politely decline and be confident that another awesome opportunity will meet you down the road, with an offer that appropriately matches your worth.

So how do we measure worth?

At a simple level, one might say it could be measured with a formula similar to this:

(X) amount of education + (X) amount of experience = (X) amount of worth.

I say:

We all have work experience. Most of us have some sort of education background, even if it is self-taught. But how do you work? How do you communicate? If you can check the boxes of producing high quality work, in a timely matter, all while communicating effectively, you better put yourself on a high pedestal, because it’s actually harder to find all those characteristics in a single person than we might expect.

So my formula would look something like this:

(F your) amount of education + (F your) amount of experience + excellent work ethic and end product + ability to meet deadlines + thorough communication as a whole.

I’ve learned to take my worth more seriously, but I learned the hard way. I was meek and held my tongue, so it was easy for people to get take advantage of me early in my career. People may try to convince you that you don’t have enough experience, therefore you shouldn’t be charging your current rate. Worse, they try to get you to work for “exposure,” in other words, work for FREE. Is that client really worth working for free? In some cases, they might be, depending on your career goals. But it will always be the exception, NEVER THE RULE, even for designers fresh in their career.

If you can produce awesome work, despite limited experience, do not second guess yourself. Increase your worth. And increase it often. Every year, re-valuate the services you are providing, your level of skill (because no doubt you will get better and produce work faster over time) and charge appropriately. Sure you may lose some of your current clients when you raise your prices, but you will also gain some new, respectable ones as well. It will so be worth it, just like you are.

Tell me about an experience in the comments when your worth was questioned in business, or about a time when you stood up for your worth and where it got you. I want to hear your story!


Cover photo credit to Gratisography. (Love his work, and you will too.)



Nicolette Shasky

About the Author | LinkedIn
Nicolette Shasky is a creative soul with a specialty in visual storytelling and UI/UX Design. She currently works as a Visual + Analytics Designer at Interactions Marketing in San Diego, California.


  1. This is a great topic, especially for women who have been shown to negotiate less and accept less in job interviews. I worked as a teacher for a decade and there was no negotiating, but now that I’m working for myself, my worth is something I have to always be considering.

  2. veganmom7 says:

    Great reminder not to undervalue our experience and skills – and to keep in mind the other things we do such as meet deadlines and communicate effectively. Thanks for writing this!

  1. […] undervaluing myself and lowering my rates in order to win over a client. Today, I have learned to price my work appropriately and stay firm on it, and you should do so […]

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