$250,000. This is how much money I think that I am worth. The problem I am having is finding someone who agrees. Although this may be my worth, my value as a youth worker is significantly lower. And here is where the rub occurs. You see, we all have a strong sense of worth, but it is determining our value that is the true challenge.
The difference between worth and value can be clarified by a simple craig’s list transaction. A couple of years ago I wanted to get an iphone. I mean I couldn’t see straight, I wanted an iphone so bad. The deal was I had to pay cash for the phone and for whatever cost it would be to switch services. Easy enough. I grabbed my digital camera and started posting on craig’s list.
I quickly realized that items that were worth a certain amount to me, had a significantly lower street value. And at every sale, I had to decide what the items true value was. Sometimes I did ok, and sometimes I got taken pretty hard, but after a couple of weeks, my garage was clean and I was making calls on my new iphone.
What does this have to do with you or with me? It has to do with wrestling with our value as youth workers. How much money are we worth as youth workers? We feel called to student ministry and we feel called to work at a particular church. Then we are offered a salary package and with out even realizing it, we are confronted with the difference between our worth and our value.
No one tells us youth workers who simply want to serve God and love students that there is an actual science to salary negotiations. So after some painful negotiations of my own and a couple awful ones for some of my friends, here are a couple of pointers that may be helpful for you next time you are sitting around the salary negotiations table: