Balance: Paying Your Dues and Selling Yourself Short
You have to pay your dues. I have heard this phrase time after time in my life. What is it exactly? For many people , especially younger people it does not resonate. I graduated from Baruch College over a decade ago and this quote has haunted me in a good and bad way. Starting from the bottom is where you start in any endeavor, you make sacrifices to get to where you need to go. What does that mean? It may mean taking unpaid work for a little bit, assisting someone who has a title or maybe being behind the scenes and learning. Success is not linear. Everyone has a different path and story but they all started from the bottom and rose to where they needed to go.
Paying your dues can be humbling but it is a fact of life. Certain people will never get that and will try to take shortcuts along the way. They have an entitlement complex in which everything should be given to them without working for it and learning how to get there. Some people just want the easy way. Life does not work out that way. These individuals will learn the hard way.
What has my journey been like paying my dues? To be honest I believe I have sold myself short for a long time. About two years ago I was interning for someone while in grad school and out of grad school. I realized I was doing a lot and was not compensated for what I was doing. Mind you for over 5 years I was doing unpaid work for many people building their brands. I realized I was ready to be compensated for what I was doing. The person I was interning for had a bad reaction and was big mad when I told them I would quit because it was a time that I would be compensated for my work.
I learned a very important lesson, pay your dues but not for a lifetime eventually, you have to know your worth and get to bigger avenues and opportunities. I am currently on the job hunt and it is overwhelming but I know I have paid my dues and I am ready for more work and opportunities.
I hope some learns that life is about balance and knowing your worth. Pay your dues but eventually know your worth. I wish all my readers the best in their career journeys.