You Never Asked – A Tale in Knowing Your Worth

by | Oct 29, 2021

It was the Winter of 2016, and I was beginning my search for a killer summer marketing internship. I was searching for a position that would be not only a valuable experience but a workplace where I could flex my creative muscles and really make an impact.

When I heard about this hot new tech start-up looking for interns, I knew that was the place for me. The culture of the company, the staff, and the job seemed like a dream. I dove in headfirst into the recruiting process and was elated when I got an offer in early Spring. I couldn’t say yes fast enough.

My first day came, and I discovered that a peer from my program had also been selected as an intern. I was excited to know someone and be able to share this experience with a friend.

A few weeks in and I was talking to my friend about some projects. In an off-hand comment, he mentioned how much he was being paid per hour. It was $2 more an hour more than I was being paid.

My mind started to race. I was stunned. Sad. Angry. And overall confused.

What do I do with this information now? Do I go to my supervisor and tell her what I discovered? My inner self-talk was divided. I didn’t want to seem ungrateful for the opportunity, but I also wanted to address the inequity. We came in with the same experience level, same degree, the pay didn’t make sense.

Summoning all of my courage, I went to my boss and laid out the situation to her. I wanted to understand why I was getting paid less. Her answer to me was simple. She said, “You never asked for more.”

And she was right. I didn’t negotiate. I didn’t push. I simply said yes without a beat.

Lesson learned. I will never forget that moment and from now on, l always ask for what I deserve.

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