Ladies, it's Time to Ask for a Raise. Well, unless you just started your job, and then perhaps you should chill out, OK? Damn, greedy. But the rest of us need to slip into our GSD pants (opposite of eating pants) and march straight to the boss person's office and GET PAID as if the economy — and our shoe closets* — depended on it. (Because they kinda do.)
Barbara Garson argues in the Los Angeles Times that the way back to financial health for the United States of America and the United State of Americans is by investing in our most precious resource, marijuana. JK, it's people.**
During most recessions, companies get lean and mean. They reduce in general, but still keep on enough staff to remain competitive in a increasingly competitive marketplace. They lower prices, make less money, and, as a result, "the share of national income that goes to investors usually declines during recessions while the share that goes to employees increases."
However, this recession was different. As Garson explains:
This time has been different. Corporate profits were 25% to 30% higher at the official end of the Great Recession than they were before it started. Meanwhile, wages as a share of national income fell to 58%. That's the lowest the wage share had been since it began to be recorded after World War II.
The Financial Times (my source for these statistics) calculated that "if wages were at their postwar average share of 63%, U.S. workers would earn an extra $740 [billion] this year  or about $5,000 per worker." That's a lot of consuming power.
The problem is, none of that money has gone to paying employees. Instead, it's "crammed into those already distended sacks of capital, where it's once again exerting unbearable pressure to be loaned." And that, folks, is what it looks like before another bubble. We do not want another bubble.
It's time to redistribute the wealth through wages — and that means we all gotta request raises. Yes, asking for a raise is scary and awful. Women are conditioned to not ask for more money — and often when we do, we're greeted with confusion and hostility. It's not cute to want more than what you're offered.
My first job out of college, I was so stoked that someone wanted to pay me to do something, that I almost negotiated myself out of extra vacation days. No joke — I was like, "All THIS? For lil' ol' me?? You're too kind, but I doubt I'll need all that vacation time, I'm gonna love work so much!" I know, right? I wanted to strangle me, too.
Over the years, I've gotten slightly better at asking for what I want, but it's still not great. I'll dance around it, and issue a million disclaimers. However, reading Garson's eloquent call to arms in service of this great(-ish) nation, I now know it's my responsibility to my country to ask for more.
We all know the same advice — we've heard it a million times. Don't talk about what you think you deserve; talk about your value. Find out what men in your field are making, and tailor your request around those numbers. Ask a successful dude to coach you. Don't bring your outside shit into negotiations. (Your boss doesn't want to hear about your fucking budget — they have their own shit to deal with.) Hold yourself accountable — set a date and time to ask for a raise and set it today so you don't chicken out.
If your boss does say no, and you are in a position to do so, quit. If you know your worth, and you know they can afford it, and you have other options (or can survive while working towards what's next), flash a peace sign and get outta there. As a patriotic American, you and this nation deserve better. SAN DIMAS HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL RULES!
*when you get that raise, you can have a closet for JUST SHOES. Since you're a woman, you probably just came.
**OR IS IT MARIJUANA??
Image via Jakub Krechowicz/Shutterstock.