I think it is about adding value, or solving a real problem or fulfilling a need for which people are willing to pay e. g. I have seen humble cobblers command respect because they are perhaps the only one in the neighborhood and because they solve a real problem.
Looking around, we may observe that the well-off people indeed have jobs/businesses that indeed add value to something existing and/or solve a real problem. I can think of guys in merchant navy- they earn very fat paychecks. If we imagine a world without these guys, then indeed world would be different.
Which also means that if you are not adding value, then your paycheck and perks may be hanging by a thread.