I could easily have called this “what am I worth?” as both are questions I have buzzing around my brain at the moment.
I’ll come back to the name conundrum. The question of my “worth” stems from the recently revamped Carers UK website and the inclusion of a nifty carer calculator which, in a few easy clicks, offers up a monetary value for all the roles and responsibilities the average carer takes on throughout the year.
Although a very rough calculation, which doesn’t take into account so many variables, my “carer worth” to Rachel of £49,990 a year seems pretty fair. It is also based on the fact that I continue to work full-time, something a lot of carers struggle to do.
I have written more about my worth as a carer for the next issue of the ME Association‘s magazine, so I’ll post that article once it is published.
But this question of my worth stretches beyond my role as a carer for Rachel and also includes another burning issue of the moment – my next career move and my worth as an employee or self-employed contractor.
It isn’t always about the money, yet the £-sign is usually lurking somewhere close by.
The British have historically thought it vulgar to put a cash value on such things, although I’m not sure that still applies when rampant consumerism seems to be the order of the day even in the depths of a recession.
Your worth means so much more than a monetary value.
And that brings me to the other big question of the moment – what is in a name? A simple job title, for example, can hide a multitude of achievements.
Now that I’m job hunting and trying to find a new position before the funding for my current role runs out on July 31 (all the organisation’s funding has been cut, so we are all looking for new opportunities), I’m scanning adverts and talking to people to see where and how I fit in to the modern career landscape.
It isn’t especially easy and I’ve been doing some serious rewriting of my CV. I’m also looking to make greater use of LinkedIn, but even my profile on that site doesn’t tell the full story of me.
In some respects I’m rather pleased that I’m not easy to pigeonhole. But, then again, it doesn’t necessarily help in finding a new role either.
My current job title of PR & Marketing Manager doesn’t tell you much, indeed most of my job titles have been suitably vague. I want a job title like Space Archaeologist, as at least that would get people thinking and asking questions.
So what is it that I do?
- Writer – experienced journalist, editor, copywriter, blogger, tweeter, frustrated novelist (yes, I’m a walking, talking cliché).
- Media type – 20-plus years as a journalist, mainly in newspapers and magazines but with some experience of working with broadcasters.
- PR person – I’ve worked with agencies, in-house teams, as a self-employed contractor and produced a wide variety of promotional material online and in print.
- Communications consultant – internal and external communications experience, from editing a monthly e-newsletter to devising a more open and informative, public and media-friendly culture for a large organisation.
- Public affairs adviser – experienced in monitoring and communicating complex and fast-changing policy, as well as working with senior colleagues on devising strategies.
There is other stuff too: I’ve organised national events at high-profile venues; helped develop new brand identities and devise marketing programmes; looked after £1m-a-year budgets; interviewed Royalty and other members of society’s great and the good; I’ve managed big departments; and I’ve even driven a Transit van of aid to Zagreb during the Balkan conflict for a newspaper feature.
I’m struggling to put a suitable title on all this.
Who am I? Well that’s a biggie as well, even without getting too philosophical about it. My Twitter bio for @grovesmedia says: “PR, writer and comms type looking for new career opportunities. Part-time #cyclist, full-time #carer. #Rugby fan, other stuff too. Is Welsh.”
It also includes a link to this blog where, over the last few years, I’ve revealed quite a bit about myself in various posts. But as it is my personal Twitter account I don’t tend to tweet about the work I am currently doing.
So PR & Marketing Manager does not comes anywhere near to explaining who I am, what I do, what I might be worth and what my title should actually be.
I’d really like Space… to be part of my CV because everything about space is cool – as in Space Archaeologist, which immediately generates interest and throws up all sorts of questions.
Space Communicator…nah, sounds like some sort of early Star Trek device. Space Consultant…nope, even with the addition of space it is rendered meaningless by the addition of consultant. Space Scribe…well, no, obviously.
I’ll keep thinking as trying to shoehorn Space into a job title might just be a case of boldly going where no man should ever go.
As for what I’m worth, well that’s an even harder puzzle to solve.
If I’m worth £49,990 a year as my wife’s carer, what am I worth in my chosen career?
I’ll be opening up a whole new can of worms if I suggest I’m worth more than I am as a carer (actually, I don’t think that and to be honest I dislike putting a monetary value on caring as it is simply something I do for love).
But if I say I’m worth less am I guilty of underselling myself?
It might be easier to say:
“Hello, I’m Paul. I’m a writer, I’m experienced in PR, communications, event management, communications and lots, lots more.”
Oh, I almost forgot:
“And does anyone need any work doing?”