Employes are divided into two classes -the kind that makes profits and the kind that is on the expense side of the ledger. The young woman who has the foresight and ability to get on the selling side, the side that brings profit to the house, has the decided advantage over the young woman who is on the expense side. Book-keepers, stock-keepers, clerks and all other expense employes are paid far lower salaries than the saleswomen and buyers, those who produce results.
In the newspaper business the editor with her college education has practically attained her limit of progress when she is 40 years old. She may get from $20.00 to $80.00 or even $100.00 a week as editor. The young woman in the advertising department may get from $50.00 to $200.00 a week. She is a producer of tangible results; the editor produces theoretical results.
In every business the woman who sells things, who brings in the profits, is the woman who gets the best pay. The boss will grudgingly give a dollar a week increase to the book-keeper. She only thinks what it would cost her to replace the book-keeper.
The producer gets his increases in $5.00 and $10.00 a week jumps. The expense employe is in competition with the great army of the unemployed, and there are multitudes who will work for less money than the woman who is holding her job on the expense side.
The producer, on the other hand, knows how much profit she is bringing into her house, and if those profits are steadily increasing she may be sure her salary will increase proportionately. If it does not she can always get another position by laying the facts and figures before some more enterprising house.
The producer is seldom out of a situation. If for any reason she is out of employment temporarily she can go to a good house and work on commission, or get a small drawing account, and at three or six months talk salary on actual showing made. The shrewd business woman won't let profits slip away if she can help it, so the real producer sits in a pretty good seat. She has only to show what she can do and she will be paid accordingly.
The expense woman's only stock in trade is faithfulness, neatness and amount of detail she can handle. She has little lee-way in the matter of salary, for thousands are faithful, thousands are neat and thousands can perform great amounts of detail.
The young woman just out of school should have for her ideal that she shall be a producer first and a proprietor later on. To this end she should equip herself by spending four or five years acquainting herself thoroughly with all the phases and departments of the business and learning the facts about the manufacture of the goods she expects to sell eventually. All this understanding and preparation will be of great service when she is a saleswoman, and greater service when she is a proprietor.
The writer started wholly dependent upon his own exertions for a livelihood at fourteen years of age. At fifteen he learned shorthand by evening study. At sixteen he attended to the correspondence and mail order department for his employer. At eighteen he was getting $8.00 a week in cash for his services, and many times that amount in valued experience.
One day he got a blank application for a $75.00 clerkship in the Post Office. At that time appointments were made by political and not through the civil service. The writer took the blank to a relative, who was the leading politician of the State. He asked for the endorsement of this senator and received this advice:
"Young man, my signature to this sheet would get you the job, but if you were my son I would not let you take the place. I will give you some advice, which is this-never take a political, railroad, or bank job. In all these callings you are in competition with thousands of others. The compensation is small, the chance to better your position is remote, and you are a machine. If you want to make a success of life be a producer, learn to sell things."
This advice was acted on, and the writer remembers it as the turning point in his career.
It is a sad thing to see the old woman working for $40.00 or $50.00 a month who in the past drew $3,000 or $4,000 a year.
Such women were expense women and not producers. Moves on the checker board of business are made quickly.
The woman with silver hair may be an accountant or confidential woman drawing a good salary. Something happens, her firm goes out of business or sells out, and our old friend is left without a position. She has been used to the comforts and associations a good salary allows, and now she finds herself out of a place and faces the necessity of starting over again, and her competitors are young and active women ready for the battle of life.
The old woman out of a job goes around amongst her friends. The friend can do nothing but gives her a letter of recommendation. She is passed along from one to another until she is footsore and heart sick and weary of it all.
She winds up as a sleeping car conductor, or gets a position as floor walker or clerk at the inquiry desk. The producer, be she ever so old or ever so often out of a job, can catch on again. She gets her job on results and not sympathy.
Business women are on the lookout for producers. Young woman, learn to be a producer.
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