Wasting Talent Wears A Mask

Wasting Talent Wears A Mask

How do you tell the difference between paying your dues and wasting your talent?

Lots of people, whether it be students, recent grads, contract workers, freelancers, or even someone switching careers after 20 years in an industry, spend some amount of time ‘paying dues.’

Maybe it’s the classic internship position where you kind of get that backstage look but the only thing you get your hands on is coffee orders.

Maybe it’s being promised a leadership and problem-solving role after your first 90 days but realizing they never intended to move you up the ladder.

Maybe it’s a creative marketing person working for a tech development company that doesn’t see the value in creativity (or the true long term ROI of marketing), killing your work ethic and success before it can even begin.

There is a big difference between paying necessary dues and wasting your time and talent. And unfortunately, though the difference is huge, the line between them is blurred and masked.

Fortunately, however, as the only online magazine that looks only at raw talent, we’ve come up with a question you can ask yourself to find out which side of the line you are on.

Are you learning something new every day that you think will be useful in the future?

For the coffee intern, they may be running errands so much they never see what’s going on behind the curtain. Or, that coffee order might get them closer to a boss (*cough* NETWORKING).

For the 90 day slumper, are they being held back because there’s more to learn from a superior, or are they being forgotten? A future vision doesn’t stay in tact just because you want it.

For the creative marketing person surrounded by tech developers, are they learning how to fight for the resources they need, or are they being forced into ineffectiveness due to company beliefs?

If you’re learning something every day that will go into your back pocket of skills for future jobs, even if you’re not doing what’s most fun or expected, you’re not wasting your time. In fact, this inability to know how a job will turn out is one of the best ways to start a career

If you’re not learning something new every day however, you’re probably wasting not only your time, but your talent. This is how people get sucked into the boring jobs, or the stable jobs, or the exact jobs they didn’t want to do long term.

Don’t get stuck in a rut, leaving traces of unused talent behind you, reading digital branding magazines you wish you were in. Don’t let anyone tell you, “This is how it’s supposed to work; you’re paying your dues.”

Screw that. Dig yourself out before the rut gets deeper.

Up here, there are actually lots of ways to get hired and get noticed, no matter how many years or dues you’ve paid.

That’s what we built our digital design magazine on, and that’s what we built our team on. No dues, no slumps… just talent.


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