An Open Letter To My CEO
talia jane

The average corporation in the United States has a 6% profit margin. Yelp just posted a profit for the first time last quarter so they’ve been losing money for quite some time. People tend to look at corporations as these greedy old white dudes hoarding a vault of gold… they aren’t. Half of all businesses go under and everyone that invested in them lose money.

That’s not me crying on behalf of businesses — we chose our future. That’s just the reality. Businesses are finding it very difficult to compete in this economy as well.

My advice to you — tenderly and empathetically — as someone who once worked three simultaneous jobs — delivering pizza while working full-time as an electrician, then building computers on the weekend to pay for diapers for my young son… is this:

You are responsible for your future. Only you. You engaged voluntarily with a company where you committed to working for a specific wage in exchange for your talent. They held up their end of the bargain, nothing more, nothing less.

This message is for everyone out there. If you’re waiting for a company to help you fulfill your dreams and find happiness, you’re wasting your time. Companies are led by people with their own dreams who are pursuing their own happiness. And they’re doing that by using you to get there. You are not included in their dreams. I can assure you of that.

A company’s responsibility is to investors and to customers. Surely if employees help to drive profits and grow the business, there are more opportunities for advancement and pay raises. But that’s not a given. The trade of salary for talent is still the engagement of every employee. And it doesn’t appear the health of this company is too good. Pistachios and coconut water aside.

I wish you well on your journey and hope you figure out that only you can help change the position you’re in. Perhaps it's time to move away from the bay and give up the ocean and mountains for some cheap plains. You can move back once your career is in motion and you’re well on the way to achieving your dreams. If you don’t… that’s also your choice.