The Upside of Paying Your Dues


Going into adulthood, we mildly understand that to get to where we want to go, we have to pay our dues. We have all been there and if you haven’t, well, Maseltov! But for the rest of  us, our paths to our desired successes aren’t always clear cut and opportunities can often seem scarce, particularly as we start off with limited experience.

There are many circumstances and scenarios that we consider paying our dues including crappy jobs where you A. aren’t paid enough B. hardly get to do your craft even though you are in an industry where it’s related C. are, for the lack of a better word, someone’s “bitch” D. are with a company or in a position completely unrelated to what you want to do but just need the moolah or E. working tirelessly with not the best hours with little to no recognition.

There are a multitude of scenarios to this. Whatever it is you want to do, we seem to have to take our turns crawling up the ladder. This is definitely a twenties wilt but my goal of this post is to turn it into a bloom. How you ask? By accumulating the reasons that paying your dues are good and if you ever have those moments where you would rather cry and eat a whole King Size bag of peanut M&Ms in bed all day than go back to your seemingly pointless job, this might give you some inspiration. (Or piss you off, just depending on how frustrated  you are feeling for the day).

Any who, let’s give it a shot though, shall we?

It’s character building

Anytime when you aren’t the biggest kid on the playground, smartest person in the room, or generally just put in your place and given a reason to have a deflated ego, it does help your character build. It gives you incentive to prove yourself, work harder, and those experiences of remembering what it took to get to where you are usually make you appreciate the journey and what you have much more when you get it.

You never know who you are going to meet

You could be in a job totally unrelated and randomly cross paths with a person who could give you an opportunity to shape your career. Being in a job allows you to network which as we know, can help immensely.

No matter what, you learn something either about your craft or about life

No matter what, you have an opportunity to learn something and take from the experience. It might not be what you thought, but it will be worth it somehow. When I first moved to LA, I worked as a dance teacher and helped manage a dance studio while auditioning. Though it wasn’t related to anything I am doing now, I learned a lot about running a small business and customer service and those skills have translated into every job since.

It teaches you how to deal with people

Dealing with colleagues is always a challenge in the workplace. Like any relationship, you have to learn to navigate people’s style, feelings, strengths and weaknesses. Unlike a relationship, you don’t love these people like that so this automatically teaches you to hone up that patience muscle. Also, whilst trying to work your way upwards, you are often times thrown in situations to stand up for yourself and communicate better in which case, your skills on handling people and various situations improve regularly.

It humbles you

You are not the big cheese. You have a lot to learn. It’s definitely something that will be more appreciated later on.

It sets an example of the kind of boss  you would like or not like to be one day

Being at the bottom gives you an opportunity to analyze your leadership. You can observe and take note of what works and what doesn’t and apply that one day when you are in their position.

It eventually pays off and leads to something else

Life is ever evolving and changing. If you work hard and make the effort, you’ll move forward and different opportunities will arise. Just focus on the goal.

You aren’t alone

We’ve all been there. You’re not the only one feeling the frustration. It’s just growing pains and a rite of passage.


Now get out there, work hard, and have a little faith that you’ll figure it out as you go! (And go hog wild on those peanut M&Ms if it makes you feel better in the meantime).