• Isabel Albelda Ros

Don't sell yourself short

Recently my in-laws said to my husband “make sure you don’t undervalue yourself”.

They were talking about salary expectations, but it made me realize that too often we undervalue ourselves in other areas as well. Are we selling ourselves short into a job that will suck us dry of our energy? Into a role that doesn't align with our values, and will chip away at us every day? Into a company that doesn't value us? Into roles that don't mentally challenge us or no longer fit us?

We’ve all been taught to follow the money and follow the prestige, but that’s a very limited definition of success, and one that doesn’t work for everyone.

Don’t get me wrong, every job will have something that you don’t enjoy doing and would rather ditch – much like enjoying an amazing meal feels fantastic and doing the dishes not so much – but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look for one that maximizes the things you enjoy doing, the skills you want to develop, and the values you want to be living.

It’s hard to ask ourselves honestly what we want out of life – I’ve been doing it for years and it still feels a little daunting – but how can we get it if we don’t know what we’re looking for?

So ask the question. Do you want to work 9-5 so you can spend more time with your family? Do you want a job that will send you traveling all over? A career where you make big strategic decisions? One you can leave at the door so you can enjoy spending time on your hobbies?

These are not all mutually exclusive, but you do need to prioritize – as my mum always said, you can have everything, but not at once.

Some people like to grab pen and paper, some talk it out, and some draw an inspiration board. I personally like to use post-it notes. Use any tool that works for you, but start answering the question – what do you want? What does your ideal life look like? What would make you think you lived a life worth living?

It’s a scary question, and it can be a scary answer.

But once you have a destination, figuring out your next step is that much easier.