Helping students and young people as much as I can is very important to me – most of us have gotten help along the way to get where we are, and it’s important to turn around and help others as well. It’s been a challenge for me to find a way to balance doing what I want to do – give back – with making money. I feel like this internal struggle is a great topic for career coaching as it’s something that a lot of us face when trying to navigate career decisions. Setting rates/negotiating a good salary can present a serious challenge for anyone deeply motivated by their desire to contribute to society & “make the world a better place”. How can I negotiate a salary – or rates as a freelancer – and make sure that I’m earning enough that I don’t have to worry about paying my bills and that I feel I’m being adequately compensated – and at the same time be true to my core values?
When I first started out, I tried to take on as many student clients as I could, despite the fact that many of them weren’t able to pay my rates. I really enjoyed the work! However, a colleague of mine noticed that despite the fact that I was always working, I was making significantly less than I really needed in order to meet my professional obligations (office space, insurance, etc) and still have money – and time – left over to attend workshops and trainings, to do the things I wanted to do in my free time, and that I was really worried about money for someone that worked so much – something that we usually try to make a plan to change in career coaching. She pointed out, rightly, that I probably needed to reevaluate my strategy.
I’ve since come up with the following plan, which works fairly well for me. I have a set number of blocks of “scholarship” coaching slots that I’m able to do each year. The scholarship rate is 25€ an hour. It runs on the honor system – if paying the student rate would present an economic hardship for you, then you can request be invoiced at the scholarship rate. Once the number of slots has been used, then I’m unable to take any further scholarship clients until the following year. If you have any additional questions, I’d be glad to answer them! Don’t hesitate to get in touch.