Blog and life updates, Family Finances, Motherhood

Employment Boundaries and Knowing Your Value

September 4, 2015
employment boundaries

Do you believe that money can buy you happiness? To a certain extent I believe that it does. Money certainly makes things easier. I would be more than willing to endure some unpleasant positions to make more money for my family. If someone told me that I could make 3 million dollars by shoveling out manure pits for the next three years, I would definitely do it. Most people probably would.

What if the same person offered you only $30,000 to shovel manure for the next three years? Unless you were homeless, unemployed, and starving the answer would most likely be a resounding NO. That level of physical discomfort just isn’t worth the meager paycheck. Everyone has their employment boundaries. They know when a project is worth the value or not for their time and effort involved.

This past week I learned what limits are and employment boundaries are as a writer. I did something that, three months ago, seemed inconceivable. I turned down a writing client for the first time.

After learning how to get paid to write for blogs, I have been hustling to find new clients, start new projects, and bring in more income for my family so that we can pay off debt. I’m willing to put in the time and the hours writing for free, doing guest posts, or getting paid low compensation to build up my name, my business, and my writing portfolio. Like Mark Twain is remembered for saying, “Write without pay until somebody offers pay.”

Until this week, my motto has been “any money for writing is good money for writing.” After contacting a potential client and writing a sample article, I was seriously low-balled in return for a writing project. I don’t want to get into the details, but let me just say that the time was not going to be worth the effort or the money. Compensation was going to be less than minimum wage. Significantly less. I turned down the client, letting them know that my time is worth more than they were offering, but thanks for the opportunity.

A project like the one in question would have made me crazy, the quality of my work would have been terrible, and my family would have suffered with me working so much…all for pennies. Although I am still a new writer, I know what my value is, and I know what my employment boundaries are.

I am so glad that I was able to say no. I love working from home as a contract writer, because I get to choose which projects I take on, meaning I enjoy my work and I get to be home with my kids.

I enjoy my work as a writer, and I enjoy my work as a mom. Any job that would make me unhappy with both of those positions is a job I have no desire or willingness to take. I know what my goals are as a writer, I know what my employment boundaries are, and I will only take on projects that will help me reach those goals.

What are your employment boundaries? Do you know what your bottom line amount is for the value of your work?

If one advances confidently in the direction

Before you go, here’s a roundup of some of my recent posts around the web:

Careers that Offer Student Loan Forgiveness

3 Fool-Proof Ways to Avoid Buyer’s Remorse While Shopping Online

10 Great Alternative Christmas Gift Ideas

3 Reasons Millennials Should Invest in Dividend Stocks

5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Put Off Your Bucket List until Retirement

Why Paying Off Debt is Like Losing Weight


Also check out these great posts by other bloggers

Why You Shouldn’t Let Your Spouse’s Career Hold You Back

10 Ways to Get Yourself Out of a Funky Mood

How to Check the Real Savings on Amazon Gold Box Deals

Life After Debt…Remembering Your “Why”

5 Simple Ways to Get Your Productivity Back


Have a great weekend!

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  • Reply Alexandra @ My Urban Family September 4, 2015 at 10:41 am

    Isn’t it such a great feeling to finally be in a position to say no to a prospective client? That happened to me for the first time with my graphic design business about six months ago. I was finally busy enough that I could say no to a client that wasn’t valuing my time enough and it felt amazing. Congrats on making it that far!
    Alexandra @ My Urban Family recently posted…Friday Favorites – Week 5My Profile

    • Reply moderatemuseblog September 7, 2015 at 12:18 pm

      Thank you! It does feel great! Congratulations to you as well!

  • Reply Chonce September 4, 2015 at 8:23 pm

    Knowing your boundaries and your worth is so important. I’m glad that you didn’t take a job that would have made you unhappy. Also, thanks or including my post! Have a nice weekend and a great holiday :)
    Chonce recently posted…How to Save Money in Almost Every Area of Your LifeMy Profile

  • Reply Kirsten September 5, 2015 at 5:30 am

    I just want to reiterate you did the right thing. Turning down money is hard. Turning down opportunities to build you portfolio is also hard. But you have to know what makes the gig worth your time. You knew that this gig would make your whole life suffer and that you wouldn’t even be able to be proud of the work. You were so wise to turn it down!
    Kirsten recently posted…Do As I Say: Insurance ItemizationMy Profile

  • Reply Mrs. Crackin' the Whip September 7, 2015 at 8:32 am

    Hmmm, shoveling horse manure for $30K. If this is part-time for 4 hours a week, sure, I’ll do it :) Seriously though, good for you knowing your employment boundaries.
    Mrs. Crackin’ the Whip recently posted…FU MoneyMy Profile

  • Reply Mrs. Budgets @MrandMrsBudgets September 7, 2015 at 10:28 am

    I’m glad you said no and stood up for what you are worth. Well it is important to build your portfolio I think it is more important to not let companies take advantage of you as well.
    Mrs. Budgets @MrandMrsBudgets recently posted…August Recap and Monthly Budget ReportMy Profile

    • Reply moderatemuseblog September 7, 2015 at 12:24 pm

      That is exactly what it felt like, the company taking advantage. I’m so happy that I said no and don’t have that stress hovering over me.

  • Reply Christina @ Embracing Simple September 7, 2015 at 11:28 am

    Thanks so much for the shout out! Hope you’re having an awesome Labor Day weekend! :)
    Christina @ Embracing Simple recently posted…Easy Ways to Take Professional Looking PhotosMy Profile

  • Reply moderatemuseblog September 7, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    Always, Christina! Enjoy your holiday as well!

  • Reply Kayla @ Shoeaholicnomore September 11, 2015 at 11:30 am

    Hey! Thanks for the link back. :) I have had to say no a few times in the past for reasons similar to this too. I’m glad you drew a line and did go ahead with it even though you want to earn more money. Sometimes it’s not worth it.
    Kayla @ Shoeaholicnomore recently posted…Online Income: $2,357 in August 2015My Profile

    • Reply moderatemuseblog September 14, 2015 at 9:32 am

      Of course, Kayla! Having your ear definitely helped me make the decision!

  • Reply Shannyn @ Frugal Beautiful September 13, 2015 at 2:06 pm

    Good for you for knowing what you’re worth. This happens to so many freelancers and it’s not right. It’s important to know what your time is worth so you can focus on taking on clients that will help you grow. It’s awesome you’ve reached that point!
    Shannyn @ Frugal Beautiful recently posted…I’m Finally Up & Running Again #nomatterwhatMy Profile

    • Reply moderatemuseblog September 14, 2015 at 9:30 am

      Thank you, Shannyn! Turning down a writing job felt strange, but I am so glad that I am at a point where I can decide which clients are worth the time and effort.

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