Have you ever asked for a salary increase, and instead of negotiation you got hostility? Have you ever got a salary increase, but spent the next year out-proving yourself to justify the increase?
Have you ever been told that the company only expects the best from you?
Companies only expect the best, but they only offer the lowest possible compensation. That is how companies play capitalism in the labor market.
The best, in any other market except the labor market, means luxury. There is usually a gap between the best product and the next best thing, and that gap is very visible in price. It is wrong to expect the best by paying average.
You see, as an employee you are a free agent selling work. Work is a very customisable product with immense degrees of variance. Depending on your work’s type, duration, intensity and defaults, you should price it accordingly, at all times acknowledging the constraint of being in a competitive and free market.
But you aren’t, right? You don’t get the chance to actually price your work, instead you are being offered a base amount over which you have little control. With the few exceptions of high demand specialists, everyone kinda feels salaries are determined by employers: you must find your way into the next upper bracket. But this is a lie.
You are forced to not communicate what you got. Because of salary secrecy the labor market is not really a free market, but a designer market where companies model worst possible scenario for the seller (you) and best possible scenario for the buyer (them).
Companies call each other to stop you from selling your work some place else. Companies unionize against inflating work niche prices to cap growth.
But the worst thing companies do, is that they steal the market from the workers by doing these three things:
– repackaging the work trade as a default
– marketing work as opportunity
– blending work into all other aspects of life
By repackaging the work trade as a default, companies take away market control from the seller.
You see, work is not something you really control. For example the banking system favours long term employment. Worker protection favour long term employment. In an economy built on credit these two factors completely skew the work market to benefit companies more than workers, because they have the key: long term employment. And you want that so you submit to their process.
By marketing work as opportunity companies lower work prices through illusory benefits and expectations of partnership.
There is no partnership in the work market, and you better get a grip on that. Capitalism is played by risk and the high risk player gets the high rewards. Yet, you are told the company relies on you, that you should make sure the company achieves its mission, that you should perform better so you can have a “career” as if a “career” has any meaning. A “career” is nothing else than a list of work deals.
By blending work into all other aspects of life companies change the seller mindset we should all have to the employee mindset which they use then to control the work market.
Companies are all big “families”. Until you are fired. Your managers are your parents and they take “care” of you. Until the six months evaluation comes. Modern culture depicts work as if it were as important or more important than friends, family, emotional growth, making sense of life, joy, happiness and so on and so forth. Work is not even in the same logical space as these other things are. Work is, after all, a biblical curse not a blessing.
You are taught from early childhood that work is something you are expected to provide to others. This is false. Work is yours to sell to do so only when the price is right.
The point is you are a seller of one asset which is probably the most important means of production: work. In the capitalist market of work you should be aware that every second you spend doing anything for the company that employs you, it is a trade where you sell work for that paycheque.
The point is you work WITH not FOR companies.
The point is you work FOR money.
When you ask for a raise, remember, you are not stroking the good will of the company you work with, you are trying to sell your work with a better margin for you, just like companies do in their markets too.
Be a player. Also: