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  • Cassie Young


We had an interesting debate today on the radio show I work for, The Bert Show. Our cohost Kristin had found this Tweet below, and it sparked two very divided sides of the conversation (watch or listen to the break below).

Here's the thing. Hustling to start your own business, break into a highly competitive industry (like the music business), or joining a start up aside, this idea of giving your time away for free to a company no longer benefits the employee like it used to. I'm talking about the "typical" labor force and why you should no longer put in those long hours without additional pay.

Here's why.

That's not how majority of companies work anymore. Those 50+hr weeks become your "standard" & if you scale back, you're seen as doing less. Those long hours aren't guaranteed to get you noticed for promotions and raises. Many employees get walked all over and taken advantage of. It happened to me early in my career at former companies, and all it takes is a quick glance at TikTok to see it's affecting younger millennials and Gen Z in the same way. (If you thought TikTok was just dance challenges, guess again - it's full of conversations on financial markets, the labor movement, human rights just depends what "Tok" you're on.)

Many in younger generations no longer want to be taken advantage of by these multimillion dollar companies. They value their mental health, and they value their time and labor as a commodity that should be paid for. They see multimillion dollar businesses making more money for CEOs and shareholders while they can barely afford rent. I think a labor “revolution” overhaul is coming.

Things are no longer the way they used to be in terms of job security and ROI when it comes to giving your company extra. Times have changed. Workers are not valued the same way. Your company is a contracted client. Give them the BEST of you for the hours they pay for.

This is NOT a free pass to do bare minimum, but don't work for free for multimillion/billion dollar companies. Would you buy 5 shirts from a store & expect 5 free? No. Your labor is a "shirt" - don't give the shirt off your back to an entity who could afford to buy a zillion shirts.

Your time & labor is a commodity. Why are you giving your commodity to companies for free so they can profit off you and you don't benefit?

Think about it...with that extra time you're giving companies so they can increase THEIR bottom line, you could invest in yourself - whether it be giving yourself a break, doing something you love, or starting your own business and making 10x what a company would pay you.

Again, this is not a free pass to be lazy at work. Work hard at your job. Excel. Be the BEST. But don't give away your extra time for free.

And to be clear, I'm specifically talking UNPAID after-hours and weekend work. If your job pays you for weekend work and you want that $$$, take it. If you get a job that requires weekend work as PART of your 40 hr salaried position, ok! But don't give up more of yourself with the hope that *one day* it'll pay off. Because it doesn't anymore.

It used to be if you worked extra and stayed at a job long term, YOU benefitted. Not anymore. Forbes reports that employees who stay at a job 2+ years make 50% LESS over their lifetime than if they left.

And you know, it's also ok to also just...exist. Sometimes we get lost in the toxic hustle culture and forget not everyone wants a 'career.' If that works for you, that's great! It's ok to just BE...and be happy.

Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk.

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