Change the world for the better with clear, honest, job listings? Why, yes. Yes indeed.

For more on Chani Nicholas:

transcript and show notes:


Leela Sinha:

So here's the thing. I don't feel like an adult, I don't know how to feel like an adult. I don't know that most people in my generation know how to feel like an adult unless they have achieved the car, the house, the family, the picket fence, or you know, the loft in downtown one way or the other. Definitely the salary, definitely the salary.

Why do we link the salary with whether or not you are mature and thinking and able? What is that about? Well, part of it is, in fact, directly exactly ableism. Because we believe that people who don't have money don't have it because some personal lack has kept it away from them. And we believe, conversely, that people who do have money have all of the things that they need to succeed in the world. Every little bit, every little piece is in place perfectly.

But what happens when someone pulls out the linchpin? What happens when one little tiny block in the foundation crumbles? What happens when the whole thing is leveled because it's an earthquake or a landslide? What happens when the forest fire comes for all of it, all of it. And I do and don't mean literally. All kinds of ability, including financial ability, are temporary, impermanent.Sometimes can be rebuilt, if there's enough support, if there are enough people around them sometimes cannot. But the idea that somebody with less money is somehow less capable is a colonialist falsehood that we have to dismantle. The idea that someone with less money should have less agency, should have less decision making power, should have less autonomy, is a ridiculous result of the world we live in and does not reflect reality at all. At all.

We need to lift each other up. We need to do that because that is the only way that we survive, because we are connected. And so when you are the person who looks at someone and does not ask their salary history, you are making a difference. When you are someone who looks at someone's resume and knows, knows in the soul of your soul, what that work is worth and simply offers them a salary in the middle of the range because that's what they're qualified for. You are making a difference.

I recently saw a brand new service that lists jobs. And that service lists salaries in the headline, salary ranges in the headline. Now they might be enormous salary ranges, I saw one that listed $60,000 to $220,000. That's a huge salary range. But it still gives me some idea of whether if I think I fall in the middle of it, I'm going to be able to make a living working for that company. It tells me whether filling out the paperwork is worthwhile. It tells me whether they even have a chance of valuing me and my skills. Me or My friend or my friend's friend or whoever I might want to pass things on to now I know. This is what we can be imagining. This is what we can be thinking. This is what this company thinks is fair for this work, for this labor, for this skill level. This is how this company envisions compensation.

That's why the Chani Nicholas thing was so big. Chani Nicholas is a company that runs around an astrologer. It's a technology company offering astrology services, basically. And that company lists fantastic benefits and full salary ranges for every single position they ever post and those posts go viral because they are setting an example. They are a small company, but they are setting an example. They are showing the world how it could and should be done. They are changing how people think of themselves and their skill sets because when somebody reads a job posting and sees an actually robust salary listed for things that they can do, whether or not they ever apply for that job, they now know what they are literally worth under capitalism. And they know that it might be twice as much as they're earning now, it might be twice as much as anyone thinks they deserve.

Because this is not about who you have been, or what you got talked into, or who exploited you when. This is about what you can do now. What you can do next week, next year. What you could do with five years of financial stability. What you could do with 20 years of financial stability. How that would change you and your children and your children's children, or you and your friends and your friends, friends lives.

And I say that deliberately, because not everyone's family comes from their loins, there are lots of ways to build a family. And we are taking care of each other across the traditional lines, because we have to, because that's who we are to each other because nobody else has our backs. That's what marginalization means. That's part of what it means to be on the edges. Is it there's no one that you can lean on, there's no one pushing in from behind you to keep you in the circle. So when I talk about money, and hiring and salaries, this is what I mean.

It is so important for us to change the world this way. And all we have to do is write a good job posting with a good salary and post the whole thing. And mean it. But if you're hiring, and you're hiring well, be proud of it. Put it out there. Put it on billboards, put it on signs. Paint it on the sidewalk in six foot letters, because that's how people find out. That's how people find out they've been exploited. That's how people find out that they're worth more. That's how people find out that their pride is unreasonably attached to the salary they're able to command and that they could be commanding a lot more salary, a lot more pride, a lot more dignity a lot more respect.

And I know that money doesn't buy happiness. But I also know that that study that was done where it said that if everybody was making $70,000 a year that the general level of happiness would be a lot better because that's the threshold. Well, now it's $102,000 with inflation, but still, with $102,000 a year, a person's basic needs are consistently met. That's what that means. $102,000 a year. A person's needs are consistently met, they're able to save for emergencies, they're able to do some things just for pleasure. That's what we need. That's what we need.

And instead of tearing each other down, we need to be building each other up. We need to be encouraging other people to do the same work. Because it's by building on one another, by supporting one another, by elevating and carrying and amplifying one another, that what is normative and dominant in the conversation will change.