The thing about paying your dues

Hey, friends.

The year is off to a rip-roaring start! I just fired off a proposal for what may be a very fun and interesting project, the album is finalized (and coming soon), and I recently bought a second-hand fur coat. So, moving strongly into February.

Today, my mind is on the concept of paying your dues. Specifically, should you pay them? To whom? What are they? When can you stop? Have you even started? Naturally, I've got some thoughts.

I had really shitty bosses in my first two "grown-up" jobs. They were either stressy, or power-hungry, or micromanagers, or didn't know how to deal with different personality types, or all of the above and then some. It's in situations such as those that you'll usually get the following advice:

"Aw, man. Well, your first job isn't usually your dream job. Just pay your dues and get through it."

Fair enough. I, too, believe in hard work and low ego when you're starting out in any industry. But how do you know when you're paying your dues and when you're just hiding out and wasting your time?

When I think of paying your dues, I think of the following scenario:

You're working in a company where you want to stay for a while. You wish you had your boss' job. Or your boss' boss' job, anyway. You're learning a lot--either by observing or by doing--and you realize you didn't actually know as much as you assumed you did about this industry. Your current work might not be glamorous, but you understand where it's leading you in your career.

Is that you?

Then rock on. You're doing the right thing.

And if that's not your situation, I urge you to take a hard look at what you're doing and make a game plan. If you've stopped learning, or if you have zero intention of staying in this industry or company. If your boss' life looks deeply unappealing to you. If you calm yourself down by saying you're paying your dues, but you can't tell me what you're paying them towards--well, then it's time to dust yourself off and move on.

Because, honey: ain't nobody make you stay except y-o-u.

I'll leave it there for today.

Big hugs from Berlin,

x Alexa


Instagram: @alexashoen
Twitter: @alexashoen
Snapchat: @alexashowtime

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