Know your financial worth– Pages of a career journal

“I have to find a balance between a business mind and social worker mind. Yesterday, after brainstorming with the director for damn near two hours, they want to try to give the program a go. Why am I not charging for my services? Why I am not a consultant?”

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Rereading this entry, it may sound vague; but I recall the issue being unfairness. The agency had staff whom played favorites. They would go out to the line and pick out clients to help with meal or shelter prep. In return, these clients were guaranteed meals and/or a safe place to sleep. The issue was many clients felt slighted. My suggestion was to write the numbers one through sixty on old game pieces and hand them out to those in line. Then staff could write down six random numbers each night, call out those numbers for fairness, and collect the other numbers as clients entered. The system was implemented and works fairly well all these years later. When I think about how to get paid for my services, I reflect on an article I read that says, “Here’s a quick and dirty way to compute your hourly rate: remove the last three zeros from your annual salary and divide the remaining number in half. For example, if you earn $30,000 a year, that gives you a rate of $15 an hour. If you make $100,000, it’s $50 an hour.”

Use this handy formula in combination with your enjoyment or hatred of the task at hand to decide when it’s OK to hire someone to weed the garden. You could hire someone to do for $15 an hour. If you hate it and earn more, hire help. If you love it and earn more, do it yourself. And if you earn less, turn on some music, roll up your sleeves, and you start digging. The issue here is I really do love my work and I am all about social justice, so I often work on a sliding scale with agencies. How do you calculate your worth ?

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One Response to Know your financial worth– Pages of a career journal

  1. Pingback: Giveaway Update and a Real Life Rant | Real Life of an MSW

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