We’re starting a new work week.
Most of us, however, have a problem – our companies don’t really want us there.
How can that be?
Don’t they need us, to craft the product or service that makes everyone money?
While that’s true, what I’m talking about is how they view what you do for them.
The chart above shows the profits of American corporations; we’re at an all-time high. Recession? Not at the moment. They’re raking it in.
So where’s your cut of the riches? Where is the investment in the team?
They don’t want you to have it. We’re a “cost”. We have no stake in the outcome of our company portfolio.
And companies want to cut “costs” to maximize profits – for everyone except investors and the executive suite. Short-term profit obsession means your company has no interest or motivation to have you take part in the financial success of the organization. They are redistributing wealth to the very top of the chain. For those of you who make bumper sticker-sized arguments about the evil agenda of liberalism, I’ll take that chart above and smash you over the head with it until you understand.
We are trading our labor for money. We are a cost of doing business, and our owners and managers (in a really bizarre way) resent us for doing so.
Unlike Gen X and Baby Boomers, Millennials have not one shred of loyalty to a company, They are in it for the fun of doing something. When it’s no longer fun, they bolt. I admire their lack of innocence about the relationship they have with their employers.
In many part-time positions we are expected to show up on demand, a process known as “just in time” staffing. Companies hire on contingency, not on the foundation of the future. They pay us dirt for wages, and are not interested in paying us more.
We are trying to survive as a group of people, ruled not by government but by corporations with unlimited wealth, privilege and power.
How to turn the tide?
If you are sick of your situation, sick of being looked over, looked down on, how can you reinvent to create a future where YOU make the calls?
Creating a career path when your job doesn’t offer one is a possible solution. Think of the person who likes to make fabulous cupcakes in their kitchen, and the next thing you know they are selling them out of a cool food truck and making the kind of money their labor deserves.
We do have choices here. Not every company sucks. Not every corporation is evil. Not every employer is a soul-crushing empire of cold-hearted capitalism.
Don’t let “them” get you. Do your best to have an alternative ready. You are a lot more than a liability on a profit-loss statement. You are a person, a human. You have skills and you deserve better.
John Scott is a media studies instructor and the career services manager at the School of Multimedia Communications, Academy of Art University San Francisco. Check out “Destination: Reinvention”, on sale in the Amazon bookstore. The hardcover edition is on sale now at Lulu. Audiobook available on Audible and iTunes.