How to know your worth in a virtual professional world.
Once upon a time, I worked in a law firm as I worked my way through college. I was praised often for my kindness and all-around helpfulness in the office and with clients. The attorneys I worked for were incredible and presented me with thank you cards and gifts of appreciation for going above and beyond in my work.
I KNEW I was valued and valuable.
I thrived off knowing my work brought such joy and satisfaction to my employers. I have a thing about getting close to the people I work with and for.
It’s who I am. Personal connections are important to me.
This can be good at times, and honestly, a hindrance at other times. I hold work close to my heart. Some people say, “Work is just work.” But not to me. I was raised to understand the work you put out in the world is your name, a reflection of your standards and character. Just the same as how you treat others.
Working in a virtual world has taken me some adjustment in truly knowing my value.
There are SO many benefits to remotely working from home: short morning commute, lax dress code most days, larger prospect base, variety in the work I do, and a flexible schedule. #firewifelife. We could NOT make it happen without flexibility around the fire schedule and our 3 kids.
On the flip side, there are some things that you don’t think about when you choose to work from home. Lack of social interaction. Household distractions to avoid (doorbells, laundry, dishes in the sink). Family members who don’t truly “get” that you are working. The temptation to work past quitting time. A whole different way of communicating with clients.
Client communication is one I have struggled with recently. Up until now, I’ve never had an issue knowing what my clients want, need, or expect from me. It’s been pretty stress-free.
I love my clients. LOVE them!
I had a good stretch of 6 1/2 years before I met a challenge in this aspect. I have been working on getting to know a newer client and how to work together. For some reason, we just can’t seem to connect on the same page.
It isn’t anyone’s fault, we just aren’t a match. It happens. And more importantly, it’s OK!
After trying for a few months to work through this and never feeling like I was living up to their expectations, my self-confidence bombed. The fact that the client constantly brought up my rates and compared the work I was doing to rates that were for positions way below the contracted services I provided. It felt like the client thought they were doing me a favor by hiring me, and at this point in life, I don’t need favors to get clients…my work speaks for itself.
I felt myself questioning if what I have been successful at for the past 6+ years was something I should even be doing anymore.
I could tell it was getting to me. I was stumbling over my words on calls, I felt unsure about everything suddenly. And if you know me, you know I have great confidence in my work.
I hate disappointing people. Like to the point I had to read a book about boundaries just to learn it was ok to say no sometimes…yep, that was me.
After feeling this anxiety for a couple of weeks, I had one of my other clients tell me she loved me and asked to increase my work with her.
Then I had another client write an incredible testimonial on social media mentioning how I brought freedom to her life.
Then a peer told me my rates were well below what I should be charging for the work I do, and I should increase them ASAP.
No lie. I then proceeded to get FOUR referrals in ONE week!
God basically smacked me in the face with love and confirmation.
YES. I am on the right path.
YES. I am doing the right thing.
YES. I am valued and valuable.
YES. I am good at what I do!
If you have ever felt insecurities or doubts in your professional work, you are not alone in the feeling.
Working from home definitely presents new challenges, but you have to trust yourself.
Trust your skills. Trust the people around you who truly know you.
Here are a few ways to check in with yourself and boost your confidence if you are doubting your work from home capabilities:
- Make a list of your accomplishments. Read them. Then read them again and tell yourself out loud how truly amazing you are.
- Review your testimonials. If you don’t have any, ask for some. Trust me, this will fill your business heart right up!
- Spend some time away. Get outside and breathe fresh air. Do yoga. Jog. Whatever floats your boat. It will help gain clarity on the reality of the situation when it isn’t all up in your face 24/7.
- Get some sleep. When I am tired is when I most often find myself doubting. Self care is SO important when you work and live in the same space.
- Remember why you chose this work. What is it that drives you? Get back to your roots and fan the flames of your passions again if they have dissipated.
Don’t let the doubt creeping in take over your view of your worth. You are worthy. You took the step of entering into the entrepreneur world, and it isn’t for the faint of heart.
Lean on your support (find a great group here if you don’t have a work from home support group already) in person or online. Ask questions, take additional courses if you need to.
Visualize your WHY and who your ideal clients are. How do you bring benefits to their lives and businesses?
You’re an entrepreneur who works from home! Admire yourself for the stamina, motivation, and guts it takes to be that. And then keep going…