Truth be told, I am nervous!
As an employee, I earn €21 per hour ($31 CAD, $24 USD, $33 AUD) not including bonuses. This is more than double the German minimum wage of €8.50 per hour. My salary is average in Germany, and comes to about €45K per year.
Though it’s nothing fancy, I’m very grateful to be earning this amount.
As a freelancer, I was planning to negotiate €65 per hour. That’s 3x what I earn now, which to me, is pretty wow!
But my colleagues who have been in the business longer than me, think that’s ridiculous and say I should definitely ask for at least €90 per hour.
€90 per hour is $136 CAD or $103 USD or $143 AUD per hour!
That’s a ridiculous amount of money to me. I’ve never earned that much, and never thought I would. It’s almost laughable, which I know is a mindset I need to change if I want to earn that much.
But do I want to earn that much?
No really, I have to ask myself that. Because if I don’t want to, I won’t. But if I do want to, then there’s a chance I could if I ready myself to push for it.
Self doubt running through my mind
I’m an INFJ, which apparently is one of the worst personality types for marketing myself and negotiating wages.
What also makes me nervous is that other more senior colleagues who go freelance only make the “maximum” of €65 per hour. This magic number of €65 is the maximum amount that our company will pay for the type of work I do. But as one of my teammates posits: who says that and why do I believe it?
She says my work is essential to the company, and that I need to gain more confidence in fighting for myself. She reminds me that I asked for a measely 10% raise and still didn’t get it, so now it’s time to start high and then work my way down if need be. Not the other way around.
I agree, it’s just hard to do. But I also feel like I need to do it, because as a woman in the field, we are often short changed. My industry is male dominated, but the little niche I work in is female dominated and hence, commands a lower pay with less respect and almost no room for advancements. It is also a professional field where a lot of experience and education is required, so many people think the company asks for a lot but gives very little.
I’m still psyching myself up for it though, and am not certain what I will do. But I have a few months to make a proposition in person while I’m still working here, and will of course continue to prepare, ponder, and pontificate until I leave in early October.
What’s scary for me in writing this entry is I’m essentially and publicly making it a goal, when really I just want to take the easy way out and negotiate a low rate of €50. Which is not really a negotiation.