After interviewing for a job with the Academy of Art and finding out at the end of the interview that the pay is $13.50/hr, I wrote a nice thank you note: “Thanks for speaking with me today. After looking over my expenses, $13.50 will not be enough for me to live on. The average rent for a one bedroom in San Francisco is $2,897, and $13.50 an hour would only amount to $2,160 per month. Only if you increase the rate to at least the living wage, or offer housing, this will not work for me.”
Her reply: “At this time, the pay rate for the role is $13.50.”
My reply: “I suggest your institution reconsider its priorities. As one of the largest landowners in SF with a real estate portfolio worth at least $320 million, and annual revenues more than $247 million, you would think you could spare enough to pay full time labor enough to afford to live in one of the Academy’s overly priced buildings. Just sayin.”
Greed on both sides of the equation, the landlords and the employers, makes for a citizenry forced to depend on loans and credit which, surprise, just funnels more money into the pockets of the wealthy.
I hate to say it, but pay isn’t based on what you “need” or want to support your lifestyle. It is based in your skill and what you can do for the company. The intelligent way to reply to this would have been a (professional) response that highlights your portfolio, reiterates your skills, resume, and academic qualifications, with a counter offer for a salary based accordingly. The company doesn’t care if you live in a cardboard box, a car, a studio, or a house. They are not your mother. They don’t care what you eat or If you wear your underwear twice in a row. They only care that you meet minimal qualifications and perform tasks as directed- and hence are able to meet the minimal pay in the market. anything beyond the minimal requires beyond qualifications. Whining that the pay doesn’t cover your expenses is an unprofessional move- and confirms the employers decision to offer a lower wage because you made the professionally fatal mistake of whining. Someone will take that position, either for the offered rate or negotiate it higher. Why? Because if not, the company would offer a higher base. The #1 lesson of Salary negotiations: ask for what your worth, based on your training and abilities- not what you “need” to live. Your time and effort is a commodity to be sold. Your needs are not an interest they are invested in.
It’s what keeps some people sane. It’s what drives the world’s most skilled and accomplished athletes, the most intense gamers, the hardcore hobbyists, even many of the most talented artists, musicians and actors - flow is what you get when unstoppable drive meets an unflinching will and unlimited dedication.
Flow is being utterly, truly “in the zone”. And it’s one of the most amazing feelings there is.
This is why finding a sport, or a hobby, or a martial art, or a handicraft, or a new video game, or any skill-based activity that uses focus and requires practice and repetition is so beneficial for things like depression and anxiety and overall mental/physical well-being.