September 24

15 Songs About Paying Your Dues



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Paying your dues is a hot topic in the blogosphere lately. Let’s have some fun with this topic and hear 15 songs about paying your dues (below)! But first – I have to say I fully disagree with the idea suggested by some Millennials that the days of paying your dues may be over. What do you think?

No Shortcuts

As I was growing up, my parents always told me that “nobody owes you anything”. If you want something, you have to go and get it. Whether you’re following your passions or taking a random job because you need the money, getting ahead in life takes lots of hard work and learning through experience. You can get that experience by working at a job for “the man” or you can do it by working for yourself. Today, just like yesterday, we all have the right to start our own businesses. If you start your own business, you will learn and grow on your own dime. If you work for “the man”, you will learn and grow on theirs. If you feel the need to run the show, call all the shots and choose which daily work responsibilities you want to do, then start your own business. Some people just aren’t suited to listen to authority and play a specific role in an organization – regardless of whether they’re Boomers, Gen Xers or Millennials. Those people will be happier not having a boss.

Working For the Man

Many people like the comfort of being provided with an office, a paycheck, coworkers and a list of responsibilities. Those people may be happier working for others, without the risks and stress of working for themselves. If you choose to work for others, it may take longer to get the same level of hands-on responsibility that you would get on your own – but you’ll be getting paid while you learn and you’ll be learning from an established entity rather than finding your way from scratch. Like a rookie on a sports team, your playing time will be determined by the coach (your boss). Communicating well with that coach and making sure the coach knows what you’re capable of and interested in is key.

Choosing the Right Employer

Remember – it’s up to you when interviewing to question the interviewers and future coworkers as to the level of responsibility the company provides to entry-level workers and the extent to which the company promotes their own employees. If you don’t like the answer, then don’t work there. If it turns out they misrepresented the truth and offer no room for growth (that happens), then leave the company. But those who choose to work for others and take the attitude that “if you don’t give me what I want right now while I’m brand new to the workforce or I’ll jump to another company” will likely find themselves facing a frustrating road of jumping from place to place and paying nothing but dues while they search for their shortcut.

15 Songs About Paying Your Dues

You can hover your mouse over the artist name to see the selected song. You can also click on the artist photo next to their name to watch a video of the song!

What songs would you add?


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Image courtesy of JAN


career articles, general career advice

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  1. Internships are another way to pay your dues — which is how I (and everyone else I know) started out in the music business. Yes, you have to work for free for a while, but: a. you will learn a TON; b. if you’re working for cool people, they will usually take pity on you and hook you up with some cool perks; and c. if you’re good, you can often get a job with the company once your internship is complete.

  2. Thanks Will. Yes – internships are a great way to learn…and if perks are provided, that’s always good! The key is that employers not use “paying your dues” as an excuse to haze young employees or ignore their needs and talents. Internships are great ways not only to test out a career path to but test out an employer too – and see whether “paying your dues” would be a dead end at their business.

  3. Ahhh, paying your dues also means going the extra mile for people @ work. I remember years ago working for Sylvan Learning Center and my colleagues would tell me that I should stay late everyday even if there wasn’t anything to do because it looked good. So perhaps paying your dues is to make sure you are always going above and beyond.

  4. Everyone needs to start somewhere so as long as you treat the time spent paying your dues as a learning experience that will eventually lead to achieving your goals, it will be a worthwhile experience.

  5. paying dues is the tourtoise and the hare story. most successful people are tourtoises.

    as for songs about paying dues – eye of the tiger is all I need to get fired up!

  6. Yeah – going above and beyond is the way to do it – so long as you’re learning something from it and/or it’s accomplishing something and the company is appreciating it, of course. Thanks for the comment!

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