A liberal business education?

I have a liberal arts background. You can probably tell. Even if you know nothing about me, you can see it, solely based on how I write this blog. While it hasn't always served me well professionally, I like who I am: the well-rounded me.

Someone sent me this Newsweek article today called "The Death of Liberal Arts". It made my liberal arts heart sad.

While I have always felt at a loss in matters of business, I have never felt at a loss for words or their synonyms. Today would have been a good example of this.

I was recently offered some freelance work at a certain pre-determined rate. Today I spent half the day re-negotiating the salary with another department. They literally offered 1/2 or my originally offered rate. It was a "right had doesn't know what the left had is doing" misundertanding between two departments, none-the-less, my new supervisor wanted to "split the difference". With my knickers in a twist, I wrote a direct, but polite, thanks but no thanks.

Managing this took a bit of both: a professional school's business sense that your core value is your monetary value mixed with the linguistic finesse taught intrinsically in lit classes across the country. Too much business with too little of that "liberal arts stuff" and I would have burned a bridge unnecessarily. Not enough gumption and I would have done this job but at way too little money and spent the next few weeks resentful.

I like the knowledge that I am worth at least a fair rate. I dislike the fact that it physically pains me to have to fight for it. When I was composing these e-mails I retreated into my insecurities. Now that I am getting the originally offered rate (the higher one) I am not feeling bad about accepting, but I am determined to give my best.

Isn't that the most sought after outcome? Why are these things so difficult? Because they require two seemingly dissimilar properties. Glad I could pull it together for an e-mail that made all the difference. By the way, without my liberal arts background, I couldn't have done the job - which required editing skills!

(NB: My editing skills have been rented for the week, so this blog gets published without their use. My apologies for any inconvenience....)

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