# Paying Your Dues

Revised Spring 2008 Boehm


For most working class citizens a good career(#) starts with a simple value, paying your dues. It is not only confined to the business world, but it is seen in everyday life. To gain respect in any endeavor such as hobbies or sports, you must first show your commitment(#).

On a team, for everyone to trust one another, each individual must first pay their own dues.

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In the work place we often tend to believe that we deserve better. There is usually a real resentment within a company when a younger, less experienced person is higher up on the corporate ladder. We are raised being told that if you work hard and pay attention, you will go far.

We all know that person who slacks off at work, calls in sick, and complains about their boss. They are angry because they are stuck in the same situation year after year. Many companies believe in the value of paying your dues; the longer you stay with a company, and the more situations you handle, the more you will be valued.

Paying your dues is not only about being on time everyday; it is a show of character. It’s about working through the hard times to get to the good. It reflects what you are worth and proves that you deserve to be where you are.

It is hard to observe examples of paying your dues in everyday life. College students are, in a way, paying their dues by earning degrees. Aside from the obvious it is hard to find examples of this. When you first start at a new job, they may pile on the work to see what you can handle. This is a perfect example of paying your dues.

It is key to teach the importance of paying your dues. The message should be “You can be anything you want to be… if you really work hard and endure the struggles.” Perhaps some companies don’t believe in this value. More and more, in business it seems that cheap labor is better than experience. It’s time we all took another look at the concept of paying your dues.


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Paying your dues does not detract from other values. If anything it builds on them. Obedience(#), Self governance at work(#), and commitment(#) go hand in hand with paying your dues. It does not go along with the values such as do as you like, but depending on your personality it may be a part of happiness. If there is one value that truly accompanies paying your dues, it would have to be hard work(#). Through hard work most of the values on this list can be accomplished one way or another.

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