Yes, I used to make $8/hr and had a Computer Science Degree! Talk about being underpaid 🙁
But you know what, it was my own personal decision.
I really wanted to work there but there were no openings available for a programmer like me at this company. It was 2001 and I had just finished my 3 year computer science program. I was expecting to get paid at least $35 000/year (that’s what my professor told me).
What I Was Hired To Do for $8/hr (minimum 40 hrs/week)
- Some web programming (didn’t really know much about the web at that time)
- Lots of data entry (I hated it!)
- Some experimenting with web graphics (testing my creativity)
- Networking & IT (I hated dealing with computer networks)
- Database queries (I hated that too!)
- Learn how to sell products online (eCommerce)
Why I Accepted the Job
As you can see, I had to do many things I really didn’t enjoy doing but you will notice the last bullet point…..
I accepted the job because there was an opportunity in eCommerce. It was in the early days of online shopping and it seemed somewhat very interesting.
Whenever I hate doing something, I still put an effort in trying it because I might change my mind.
I didn’t enjoy the classes, the teachers or even the projects. That’s why I disliked databases & networking.
I Saw Opportunity but My Dad Saw Something Else
He wasn’t happy about my decision. He felt I deserved more money (I somewhat agreed with him). But I saw something he didn’t.
- I saw an opportunity to learn about an emerging industry that wasn’t taught in school
- I saw an opportunity to gain valuable experience learning about everything related to eCommerce
- I saw growth potential, for myself and the company since it was selling a product which was in demand
What Happened the Next 3 Months?
The first 3 months were crucial. I had to prove myself.
I was first in, last out.
I said yes to everything and completed tasks as expected even sometimes (most of the time) above expectations.
I sacrificed my weekends, my evenings and just about any time I had for having fun to complete projects or do overtime.
I wad dedicated, committed and……hungry for knowledge!
Was it Worth It?
Yes it was!
I learned soooooo much, more than I even expected and the best part….I was actually having fun!
I loved my job and loved the fact that I was able to learn so many new things.
Guess what? I also started loving databases, networking and everything in between.
OMG…Guess What Happened After 6 Months?
The head of eCommerce decided to leave!!!!!!!!
The owner of the company didn’t know what to do. Should he hire someone to lead the business? Should he bring in an agency to help out? Finding the right talent for eCommerce during that time wasn’t really easy.
Who came to the rescue? I did!
I was ready for the challenge. I was ready to take control. I was ready to grow this company of 5 employees with $1million in sales a year.
Let me show you what I can do!
So What Happened in the Next 10 Years?
If you haven’t guessed which company that is………it’s www.iNetVideo.com (I’m currently the Vice President)
My dream was to take this company up! How high? Didn’t know and didn’t care. I just wanted to grow it to its full potential.
Want some stats?
- Grew sales from $1 million in 2001 to $19.5million/year in 2011
- Grew from 5 employees to 57
- Used to ship 150 packages / day to over 4000 /day
- Made the list of Internet Retailer Top 500 & Inc 5000
- Sold not just on our website but over 12 other marketplaces (we were early adopters!)
- I speak at many eCommerce conferences about our experience
and…….I still love what I do!
4 Things You Can Learn from My Experience
- Look beyond money
- Be ready to learn
- Give it all you’ve got!
- Don’t expect immediate results (be patient)
One Last Thing
In case you’re wondering, I did get a raise 🙂
Your turn: How much did you make at your first job?