Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Not my Cup of Tea, at any Price

I had breakfast with a professional associate.  We meet regularly and the talk is sometimes about the challenges each of us face.  Different industries, remarkably similar challenges.  We both learn from each other.   We're both in sales.  I am in hotel sales, he is in technology.

This time the talk took a turn to salaries, and he asked for an idea of what people in our industry earned.  I told him how much I made last year  He was suprised.  I could tell by what he said.

"I'm surprised," he said.  "I thought you made more."

It was my turn to be surprised.  I thought I was doing OK.  Actually, I am doing OK.  I guess I could be making more if I applied my skills and enthusiasm to selling his widgets. but his widgets do nothing for me, and I love the industry I'm in.  Sure, I'd like to make the kind of dough I imagine he makes, but you can't do that in my bakery.  (See what I did there?)  The truth is, in his industry I'd be an underperformer who despises his job because I'd be selling a product I don't understand, that I don't believe in from the heart.  He'd have to fire me and I'd go back to doing what I enjoy, if they'd take me.

My industry, the hospitality industry, doesn't pay a lot, it certainly doesn't pay what most of us are worth.  If it did you couldn't afford your burger, frankly.  You couldn't afford to stay in my hotel, if it did.  It is, however, the industry I love.  I study it, dream about it, blog about it and wouldn't trade my career for all the tea in China.

Come to think of it, I think the lady at table 12 could use another cup of tea.   Gotta go.

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