We get paid

For bringing value to the marketplace. Whatever that marketplace might be.

I got hired at Digital Kitchen because I was able to bring value. Not much value in the beginning, which is why I didn't get paid much. That changed over the course of 6ish years. Ultimately I was laid off because I had stop bringing as much value to the company as they were needing from me at the pay they were giving me.  It took my first freelance job in NYC, 5 months later, to realize this. I did not stay humble at Digital Kitchen. I was not looking for ways to improve my skills and my thinking. I was too busy thinking that they owed me my pay purely based on how I improved during those first two to three years of my employment. So my growth had stagnated those last three to four years, while thankfully, my pay had not. That made my thinking shift from self improvement to self congratulatory. "DK is so lucky to have me. I helped them become the studio they are now." I might have played a small part in getting them from unknown to well known but it is actually, I was at the right place at the right time and I was DAMN, lucky.

For the later years I became more envious of my co-workers that were getting to work on all of the cooler jobs while I was stuck doing the bill paying jobs. I become a passive observer of my career trajectory, I blamed my falling stature in the company on everyone and everything except for myself. I became cynical bastard and my work most likely showed it. What I needed to do was speak up and ask questions of how I could be doing a better job, how I could be bringing more value to my position in the company. Of course I didn't. You can't grow from a place of anger. I was too scared of all the doomsday scenarios in my head coming true. That false fear kept me from progressing and ultimately lead to my failure.