Sign Up

Know Your Worth: reflections on TEC Women Connect

Date: 14 Dec

Sophie Bailey, one of the attendees of December’s TEC Women Connect this week, had time on the drive home to and was inspired to write this post for those who couldn’t make it. 


Be more like Oprah – own the means
Lots of people ruminating on your worth meaning setting your own values and boundaries for work. This is why I quit and set up on my own so I didn’t have to work for someone I didn’t respect or learn from and so I didn’t have to do two hours of commuting each day and sit in meetings I didn’t need to be in.

For me, the ability to keep learning and growing is an essential part of my work and worth. Sometimes this is not in a business’ interest if you are bringing them lots of consistent value none role. Before I quit, I stopped going to meetings where I was not needed. Then when I quit I worked a three day week and very quickly I was earning the same amount as when I was employed but on flexible hours.

The Oprah thing is she set up her own production company so she was in control of every aspect and monetising every aspect back into HER bank account. If you work for yourself YOU define your worth and if you are a hard and smart worker, that is going to work well.

Flexible working doesn’t mean no working – watch out for burn out  
Our new challenge in the age of hybrid and remote working is to avoid burnout due to lack of obvious boundaries. Major companies are working on their company culture and empathy building. Apparently, 22% of Microsoft middle managers went off sick due to burnout using their own product, Teams! (We’ve got the technology but not yet the etiquette of when to switch off).

This was also true of one of the first movers in this space – Netflix when they offered their take holiday anytime policy and then everyone feared to be “THAT” person. My guess is that as our ability to be connected all the time goes up, so does the value of true human experience – the swimming, the pub chats, the unique memorable occasions. I’m building something around that notion. I encourage everyone to listen to this podcast featuring Camilla Boyd from Hopin on building remote working culture.

Our notion of success is embedded at a young age in our education – go long and enjoy it! 
Currently education is about pass go, get £200. Ie. Get an A* – cram for it, feel amazing, go onto next challenge. This is sort of OK for the first years of your life but is setting you up for a fall if you try to apply this to the rest of your life when multiple caring roles and responsibilities come in. All of us have to unlearn this, when the inevitable wall is hit and it’s incredibly liberating to realise there are multiple forms of intelligence and experience to bring to the table. Many of us will have had a major ‘life event” which reframes how we see the world, connect to other people, and value our time. This is a good thing. On this note, you’ve got time – 2018 research published in the Harvard Business Review found that the average age at which a successful founder started their company is 45. The breadth of experience we gather all feeds into our value; this is perfectly captured in David Epstein’s book RANGE which I love and would recommend.

Sophie Bailey is the host of the Ed Tech Podcast and is launching a course in January about how to monetise a podcast.