I started it iniatially as i comment to Ben Nadel's post, but it became too big as you may see so i thought to make it a separate post here.
Money isn't everything because WE make money and not MONEY make us. At least that is the approach i use in my life. But it doesn't mean you have to work for free, so we make assumptions on what money we need, or want, and so create expectations. Is perfect when the expectations become true, but often they don't. In such situations we may feel somehow offended. It may happen if we have too big expectations, or if your employer has a different view on such things, or it may be even if the company is not as much thinking about employees as employees think it does. For me persnally i decided that it's bad to have assumptions and expectations for a too long period from a company you work for.
I'll give an example. Some years ago 3 guys had an idea to make a web site that would help them get some extra contracts per month and so not just to guarantee the income they have but also to grow it somewhat. I had some available time in that period and i was lucky enough to get this project winning it by convincing them to use me and ColdFusion over some other proposals with PHP and ASP.Net. Because it was planned as something very small and just for "personal use" i did it very fast and everyone was happy. But i saw good potential in this project and time to time when chatting with the guys (they are in USA while i am not) was proposing different new things that would bring them more business, that would make things easier for them, etc. Little by little they saw the possibilities too and started the work on making it something that would be used by other people and that would bring to the owners income without them to do the direct work the site initially has been designed for. Yes.. Of course i had my thoughts and expectations on this. A couple of times i proposed them to become a business partner of the project but.. "the boat is full" the answer was. I still had big expectations from all this even if just as a worker so continued to work mostly on enthusiasm as the payment i was getting wasn't even close covering the time i was spending not just the work i was asked about but also doing all kind of improvements, optimizations, working on new ideas and tools, etc. Some tools wasn't seen as needed in the moments i had them ready, but after some time their usage becoming finally understandable they became indispensable part of the entire process. Yes, i was putting lot of effort into all this and along the way turning down a lot of good proposals from other companies. But i knew this one company will become big and as i was there from the start, building the business from the ground, i will collect my apples later, including the fact that i will have a solid and permanent job for many many years ahead while the company will exist. And things was going in the company really good as i was expecting. It was growing as crazy becomming and being awarded as one of the best companies in the state it was acting. After 4 years i believe it had already something about 30-40 employees only a VERY small part of them being in the IT Department (yes, after first 3 years or so there was not only me in the IT already). And the company was literally making millions. But things started to change and go wrong when some new people appeared in the office with their visions of things, but without to really know all the real things. It's hard to have any kind of influence and to enforce and to fight your point of views when you are on other continent . So i understood it was the start of the end. Very soon all kind of policies has been introduced in the company and from a nice and happy for everyone company it became more like a police department, if you know what i mean. And of course everyone got all kind of security limits on work and access rights, especially those that wasn't directly working from the office (meaning i and other 2 developers that was working not from USA). I may understand somehow all this, but HEY! i that created pretty much everything related to what company have in internet got forced to have zero access to pretty much everything. So the work got limited to only particular tasks directly assigned to you. Without any way to get some urgent changes and get them to the server for example. And of course no possibilities for creativity with trying/working new ideas, new tools, etc. At that moment i was paid only about 60% of i could get from some of the offers i turned out while still having big hopes in this company and my position in it over time. With all the changes that was happening in the company and seeing how more and more i am taking away from the decisions made and from the "work" communications with the bosses, i understood that the "pink hopes" only hopes are going to remain. It was becoming more and more clear that i was bumped away from the company by this new... people. And while i still had (and have now) friendly relations with the bosses, this new people was taking a good part of the decision power in their hands and so there is no way for a long and happy future for me in the company. With time such words from my bosses like "we trust in Ed" and "Ed is always right" has passed away... After about an year in a such situation and seeing things going worse and worse, and because sooner or not very later i will be asked to leave the company, i decided to ask for at least more or less i worth money wise. If it would work out, for some months till the bosses will get convinced by "good people" that i am not needed anymore i at least will make what i have to make. And if it would not work out... well... no reason to extend the agony. After i had the talk about it with one of the bosses, it took a month for the good people to convince them that i am not so needed anymore and the company will do well without me, so i was let to go. In about 1.5 years that the "new people" got the decision power, i believe the company cut down about a half of the employees and the income now is only about 30% of what was 1 year ago (know this because time to time still chat with that bosses). The official reason is economy down, but other companies with same business are doing really well and even better than before BECAUSE of the problems in economy and business nature...
Well, anyway i am not going to discuss here the who and why's. Immediately after leaving the company i started to work with other company and got paid about 50% more that i was getting in that company of my dreams and then later started on some projects where i am going to be a part patner, so all is done is done for a good reason and things always are going to be better that was before if you let them be so. What i wanted to say with that example is that: DON'T make long time assumptions and DON'T have big expectations for a long future period if you work for someone else. Be realistic. If possible do it as Ben Nadel did and create your own company. And if it's not possible or if it don't work well for you just don't be too excited in your expectations or the higher your hopes will be the bigger the fall of your dreams will be.
So, if i would have a company with employees i would not make them have just a standart payment. It would kill creativity and motivation. Better to pay them some salary AND to have them get some %% of company income. So they will know that the better and more they work, the more they will can get. Or as an alternative, besides the payment they will have there would be an additional particular %% of their income as a possible bonus. For example "up to 20%" and that UP would depend on different factors as the amount of work done, creativity, new ideas brought to attention, etc. The employee should know that he is appreciated and that he can always make more if he worth it. Of course periodical increase of the base salary would happen too.
Just my 2 cents.
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