Growing up in the Salinas Valley of California, and being a typical kid who was impressed with nice cars and all the external trappings of success, I knew that selling produce or owning a produce company was how to make the “big bucks.” Back in the mid-to-late-1980s, my goal was to make “six digits,” a.k.a $100K, or maybe more. I’m the first to admit that making money and obtaining the lifestyle that the “apparent happiness” would bring was what was driving me.
What I didn’t know back then is that there are all kinds of ways to make a good living in the produce business. In fact, over the past five years of growing Joe Produce and Joe Food Safety, my eyes have been opened to many types of jobs and companies, and their respective compensation levels. There have been real surprises, and some even bigger than what I thought would be in store.
Our industry is full of opportunities in departments and fields which offer a wide range of compensation levels. To name just a few:
When you factor in elements such as medical benefits, commissions, bonuses, stock shares or options, and profit sharing there are countless jobs out there to both make a great living and maximize your passions and skills.
Compensation also depends on factors such as years of experience, location, and other variables. Yes, you can make “six figures” in these sectors and others, but the whole package needs to be factored in before you jump to the conclusion that some jobs in produce are either low- or high-paying positions. There is no set number, and if you are focused, hard-working, and smart, the sky is the limit.
Before you make the decision to pursue a specific employment opportunity, I would like to share my personal and professional findings regarding work. In my view, prosperity encompasses more than just your financial assets, and I’ve found the following elements are critical to your personal and professional success:
Rex’s Personal and
1Work with people and a culture that fits you! A work environment that fits your ideals and personality is vital to success. You will spend many more waking hours with your colleagues than with your family, so choose carefully.
2Be interested in your work! We work long and hard hours in this business, so keep yourself happily engaged for an additional kind of success. The old adage, “Do what you love and never work a day in your life,” still holds water today.
Upon reflection, that kid who grew up in the Salinas Valley admiring the produce professionals who made the “big bucks” really has found both happiness and success. I love my work! We have a great team of people who make our company culture.
I truly enjoy engaging with them every day. I do indeed spend many more hours in my workplace than my home!
I’m rewarded constantly by the produce people and companies we help connect through our business.
I’m doing what I love, and so could you. What could be better?
Rex Lawrence, Founder and President of Joe Produce, was born & raised in Salinas, CA. His 28 years in the produce industry includes positions in senior sales, marketing & management for some of the industry’s leaders. Rex and his team truly understand that finding the perfect “fit” is about more than matching a skill set with specific job requirements.