Create Your Own Dues
“You gotta pay your dues”, “gotta pay my dues”, many of us become slaves to these sayings or variations of them. I’ve lived it as well, but after trial and error, I’ve come to realization that I need to create my own dues.
Mainly because the ones that are telling us to pay our dues are the same ones that are afraid of losing their job security to the next generation. Most of these people are out dated in the way they do things and rip off of independent creatives or their very own interns.
Personally I think majority of the internships are the worlds biggest scam, if your goal is to land the actual job. A lot of companies run off of interns with just a small number of paid employees. Interns get taken advantage of all day long (I mean Warner Music Group was sued by former interns, 3,000 of them…). Some of you maybe thinking that if the internship is so bad why don’t all the interns just quit. Well once that happens, the companies just hire on a new set of interns that know no better, it’s a never ending cycle.
I’m not here to tell you not to take that internship opportunity, but take it with caution. You have to know what your end goal is. Do you want to just learn the ropes of a certain position, or do you want to land a job? Once you decide that, you have to position yourself accordingly. Soon as you sense you maybe starting to be taken advantage of, leave in a polite manner so that you don’t burn a bridge. I took an internship with the goal of landing a full time position. I was promised a position but I was led on for months and eventually just had to leave. I was being used for my creativity, employees would pile their work on me and fall asleep at their desk then take all of the credit. Eventually I was compensated a little once or twice at random times, but still no real position.
If you are the type that wants to land a job, then by all means intern away and more power to you for sticking by it threw thick and thin. I hope you land the job sooner than later. On the contrary, if you are the entrepreneur type, I suggest you put in the work yourself and forget begging for help from people. Deal with people that want to invest in you, as much as you want to invest in yourself. Work hard and smart everyday, chip away at your dream every single day and those are your dues. That’s what I eventually started to do. I dabbled into working for other companies, but quickly realized, I have to stay true to myself and work for myself, like I had originally set out to do in my mind, before I even graduated high school.
Something about college, mixed in with pressure from family, makes us think we need to go out there and find a 9-5 job. I tried that and it didn’t work out, no matter what I tried, in a sense I believe it was a blessing in disguise. So, I decided to just stop the job search and focus 100% of my energy into my own business, and it’s the best decision I’ve made. If I could go back in time and do it all over again, I would of done this from the beginning. But hey, “everything happens for a reason” and I think part of it is, so I can pay it forward to you guys. Plus now I know how I don’t want to run my own businesses.
In the end, you have to weigh out your options and pick the best path for yourself. This depends on many different things, such as do you have formal training in the field you want to work in, college or had a previous job that taught you things you need to know. You don’t always need school, but if you don’t have the school training you’ll more than likely have to intern or work jobs that relate to where you want to be. Otherwise you will just waste a lot of time and money by winging it. All of us here have degrees in the fields we specialize in, so majority of us haven’t ever interned anywhere, but we all have freelanced, again we created our own dues.
Don’t let anyone tell you that everything was handed to you because you didn’t “pay your dues” by interning. By working day in and day out, on your own, you are paying your dues. All those sacrifices you made financially and socially contribute to your dues.