I’ve worked in so many jobs where I have been undervalued. And it’s really not a nice feeling.
It’s everything from being paid minimum wage to being told when you can and can’t take holidays (on a side note, I once resigned from a job that wouldn’t give me the time off I needed…at 16 years old). It’s when you bring up a concern or a complaint and being told you know where the door is (an additional side note…I was fired from that job!) It’s being pressured to bring more to the table, only to take home the same or less money and little recognition of you efforts. It just sucks.
You don’t look forward to going in to work, you become disillusioned; whatever hope you may have had that this was going to be different, that it would be fun, that you’d be respected, just melts away. Eventually, I’ve found myself fantasizing about all the different excuses I could ring in sick with… that’s never a good place to be in!
In contrast, I have had the pleasure to be employed in a few places where I felt respected, listened to and where my experience and performance were rewarded. What a difference!
When it came to setting up Join The Circle, I knew I wanted to make sure my fellow co-ordinators were rewarded financially for what is, not an easy job. I wanted them to be able to charge a fee that reflects their level of skill and also the world we live in. So that when they finish a day’s work, they feel like they have achieved something and contributed to their community. Proud rather than used.
That’s why the starting fee for Join The Circle Co-ordinators is £15 for a 30 minute session. It’s also why that fee rises to £19 after a year (or 200 sessions), because I want people to feel valued and I want to recognise their experience and skill.
I take my co-ordinators’ needs into consideration when it comes to planning when they run sessions. I know everyone has different needs – maybe you’re a Mum who’s looking for a few hours work whilst the kids are at school, maybe you’re an actor who needs work that can be flexible around acting jobs and auditions. Whatever your circumstances, whatever your needs, wouldn’t it be nice to have work in an environment where flexible working was accepted as the norm? Rather than always feeling that whatever you did you were letting someone down and in fear of losing work?
It’s really important to me that my fellow co-ordinators feel valued, because I really do value them. They do an amazing job that brings joy to many lives – why shouldn’t that be rewarded?