I stumbled across an interesting article a few weeks ago that really made me smile.
I'll summarize it for you.
Once upon a time, there was an actor named Taylor.
Taylor spent two seasons working on a very successful show, but he wasn't the star. He wasn't even a main character. He had a recurring role, but it was a fairly small and insignificant part.
And as such, it came with a fairly small and insignificant paycheck.
In fact, it was "less than virtually every other person on the show", and his lawyer told the show that there were kids on the Cartoon Network that made more than what Taylor did.
Taylor made so little from his work on the show, in fact, that he couldn't quit his second job.
But Taylor knew he was worth more, and deserved more. So when it came time to negotiate a contract extension, Taylor asked for more.
That did not go well.
Because the show did now share Taylor's opinion. According to Taylor, the show told him, "That's all you're worth and all you'll ever be worth."
The show thought Taylor was a nobody: "11 on the call sheet" and easily replaceable. Their position was that if he didn't like the low salary they were willing to pay him, he could quit.
So he quit. And his character was unceremoniously run over by a van and killed on the first episode of the third season.
Taylor realized that based on the way the industry saw him, he probably wasn't ever going to be a huge star as an actor.
So instead of continuing to work in front of the camera, he decided he would work behind it. Taylor decided he would tell his own stories, and in doing so, take control of his own destiny.
And in all likelihood, these amazing shows would not exist had Taylor's employer -- FX's "Sons of Anarchy" -- simply agreed to give him a liveable wage.
If you've recently been let go from a role, don't feel sorry for yourself. Instead, ask yourself if your termination may have been a blessing in disguise: a way of the universe redirecting you towards an opportunity where your natural talents and abilities will allow you to thrive.
If you received any "Thank you for applying" rejection letters for any jobs you really wanted and know you would have been great at doing, don't be discouraged. The hiring manager's failure to see your potential doesn't mean your potential doesn't exist. Go out and show them how big of a mistake they've made.
If you're not being appropriately recognized and rewarded for the work you're doing today, or if the work you're being asked to do isn't challenging you to grow and become the best you can be, this year is the year to do something about it.
Don't let anybody else decide what you're worth.
That's a decision only you get to make.
If you want to read the article that prompted this post, you can find it here.