Does your job title hold you back? Job titles are incredibly powerful labels that we give ourselves as a shorthand to let others know what we do. But having the wrong job title (or even the right one) can hold us back if our dreams are bigger.
Take this message I got recently:
“There are so many aspiring VAs on social media that are charging £10 an hour!”
This VA, let’s call her Maria, is marketing herself as a VA but knows she always adds so much extra value to her clients’ businesses. And Maria feels like she simply can’t compete on price.
Maria doesn’t want to get involved in a race to the bottom and where she’s trading time for money. And this ultimately leads to burn out.
It’s a problem that trips up my subscribers again and again. I call it job title bias because being a VA can cover so many job roles and service levels. And I want to make sure that none of you ends up being an unwitting victim of job title bias.
Here are three signs that you could be suffering from this too:
1. You’re comparing yourself to what other people with the same job title charge
If you find yourself wondering whether anyone’s going to pay you more than £10 an hour for business support, I can assure you that they absolutely will. In fact, the average starting rate for VAs here in the UK is from £27 per hour (and around double that for OBM work).
There’s a great quote for this:
“your net worth is directly tied to your self-worth.”
Kinda hits home, doesn’t it?
2. Your marketing only includes your title – like VA or OBM
From my experience in the corporate world, I know that a job title gives a perceived status and that others will judge you on it.
That’s what humans do by default in cognitive bias – they like to draw comparisons and identify similarities in the quickest possible way, and their conclusion isn’t always right.
If your marketing only includes your title, then you’re always going to be compared against others who do the same.
3. You’re regularly asked to mentor your job title peers… for free
Now let’s be clear, mentoring is incredibly valuable for business development and personal growth. But your time is valuable too. And every hour you’re dishing out free advice to your peers is an hour you lose on your own business development.
I get it – you feel obliged to offer up your time in this way because in the name of collaboration it’s an expectation.
And if you love doing it, then good on you.
Personally, I charge for mentoring because I have spent thousands of pounds on personal development. And I gain a LOT of fulfilment out of helping others, but I also know that my time is both valuable and limited.
Are you on the receiving end of job title bias?
If you are, don’t worry. It is still not too late! You can start to turn things around now.
All you have to do is make it super clear about the service you provide to your clients. You can do this by:
- charging based on the value you provide,
- sharing regular testimonials to boost the credibility of your personal brand,
- editing your social media profiles so you’re not being compared on your title alone.
Of course, it is always easier said than done, but it CAN be done.
I want to see you succeed, so I hope this blog is useful in helping you identify if you are a subject of cognitive bias based on your job title.
And the first step is to make sure you know what it is you’re offering.
I’m seeing a LOT of VAs who are charging VA rates but offering OBM services. So those business owners are seriously struggling to shift the VA title bias and charge their worth.
I want to help as many people as I can with this, so I’d really love it if you could complete my 10-question survey, Are you a VA or OBM, which is a little further down this page.
Over to you now…