Are Trinidad workers all about the money?

Are Trinidad workers all about the money when it comes to picking their jobs?
If not all about the money, how much should it be about the money?
Is being “all about the money” in Trinidad the strong indicator it is believed to be of the worker’s work ethic or level of loyalty to a company they sign on to?

In the first years of my working life, I shared the opinion that salary was all that mattered when it came to considering competing jobs. This is not uncommon thinking in Trinidad. Among my peers, when you first mention a job opportunity, the majority promptly ask “How much does it pay?”

This brings me to Seth Godin’s blog, one of the blogs of which I read frequently.

His recent post is one statement:
“Maybe the reason it seems that price is all your customers care about is…

... that you haven’t given them anything else to care about.”

This somehow jumped at me.
“Salary as the number one priority in considering a job” may not be as strong an indicator into one’s core values as I previously thought.
Maybe local employers are contributing to the reason that the salary question is the first one raised and usually the only one considered by candidate employees.
Employers in Trinidad haven’t given their candidate workforce anything else to care about. They’ve been bad salesmen.

I have worked at Medullan for a year now. It will become my longest job with a single employer very soon.
The salary isn’t the most I’ve ever made. It is actually the second lowest level of income I’ve been at in my career. I made, and continue to make, personal and financial sacrifices to work with them.
One may ask then, “Why am I here still then?”

I’m here, I now realise, because the leadership team were excellent salesmen. Maybe I’m also here partly because I am a very bad salary negotiator. However, I digress.
The Medullan leadership did give me the “something” besides the salary to care about that continue to make my working with them worth it. This also had the side effect that it kept my consideration of alternate employment in Trinidad with higher salaries that were made over the past year minimal and my loyalty to Medullan high.

I’ll try my best to quantify what the “something”, or rather the “somethings” I care about are.

I care to be challenged everyday to grow, to learn, to think.

I care about my personal and professional success.
Working in the Medullan culture has opened my appetite to succeed and fed my desire to be the best.

I care about my own career growth.
Medullan has nurtured that growth. They also opened my mind to discovering and understanding new ideas, new markets and a fundamentally new dimension of doing business to what I knew previously.

I care about building Redditech, or some other business venture, someday.
In all humility, I have assisted significantly with the growing of Medullan so far.
I continue to assist, and through this effort I build and hone the skills and experience needed to make any future venture a successful one the day I undertake it.

Finally, I care to work with people who share these same things I care about.
No job before has offered me all of the above. No job that was offered to me since starting at Medullan looked like they were going to offer this.

How many other Trinidad employers can you say give you anything else to care about other than the paycheck at the end of the month?

Still, the salary issue should not be thrown to the wind. It remains as a very real issue. We all have bills to pay, personal dreams to see realised, various things we work and save towards doing or achieving.

How much then does salary matter?
That is the question that challenges me today.

While job satisfaction is great to have, something beyond pocket change is desirable as well. Living “hand to mouth” just doesn’t seem worth the knocks taken getting a degree and working to build a marketable skill set and professional reputation over the years.

The sacrifice of time and effort given to Medullan has reaped me the benefits of my increased business acumen and my growing ability to see a big picture yet still design and execute to detail smaller plans to get there. My code design and writing skills are also much improved to the point where I can now mentor others in good design technique and coding style.

On the dark side of this though, it has also shown itself through my increased weight, the manifestation of several health issues, my reduced time at home with those I love, and my reduced network of friends with whom I have time to keep in touch.
My inability to move out of my parent’s home or to take on the purchase payments of my vehicle without my father’s assistance also remain major issues for me.

These are all constant reminders of just how much maintaining my position at Medullan takes from my previously enjoyed independent lifestyle despite what it gives to me otherwise.

The model used by Medullan Inc started with two guys from the US and a dream. It is now a near twenty person organisation distributed between Boston and Trinidad. Most of that growth happened forward from the date I signed up. I am very eager and excited to see where it leads to in the next year.

But I wonder daily if I can afford to.

1 comment

  1. Samuel Nov 2

    Thanks much for this article.. i agree with all you have said..


Leave a reply