In the past I have written about the beginner’s trap. Tonight I’ll just share how deep this sort of thing goes. I promote people advocating for themselves and seeking the best deal for themselves at all times. This isn’t out of some sick, greedy desire. To the contrary, I believe in altruism.
That said, when it comes to an employer-employee relationship, the simple fact is there cannot be that same altruism. On the employer’s side, they must run a business and have an interest in getting everyone to work for less so that company and its owners may have more. On the employee’s side, blind devotion more often than not can only get you hurt.
I could write ad nauseam about how this affects reporters but tonight I think I’ll do something different. My sister seeks to become a pharmacist and has been working at a pharmacy for maybe a year, seeking full-time hours. I told her all the things I’ve told my fellow reporters. If the hours (pages) are not forthcoming, move on. She applied to two other pharmacies and received job offers from both. Unsurprisingly, at risk of losing my sister, her current job increased her hours.
The bottom line is that your employer can and will treat you different if they know you can pick up and leave. You, yourself, all negotiate differently if you know you can pick up and leave. Succinctly, put yourself in a position to negotiate. There is no telling the opportunities and money you stand to lose if you do not put yourself in the strongest bargaining position possible.
I am not here to say that anyone should do a bad a job, or even necessarily leave a job where they have a good thing going. I only hope this anecdote gives others the chance to realize they too are worth so much more than their employer might admit.
As an aside, do not be fooled by the independent contractor language. In the end, if you’re working for agencies, as much as we like to say we’re running our own shop, the bottom line is you need to be in a position to bargain or walk, and they need to know it.