Paying Your Dues for Success

Written by lewsauder

September 19, 2011

Paying Your Dues

Paying Your Dues for Success

I remember once when a manager at my client was promoted and was making that milestone move from cubicle to a private office.  This was a big career move and someone made the comment that she had “paid her dues” and was now reaping the benefits.

Paying your dues

I was younger than her and wondered when I would get to that point in my career when I had paid my dues and would reap the rewards.  I was working at client sites, sitting in war rooms – usually a conference room where the whole team works together as a team.  A bit of jealousy set in.  I continued to wonder when I was going to get my just reward for paying my dues.

A few years later, I had the opportunity to learn the answer to that question – or so I thought.  I made the decision to leave consulting.  Over a 5-year period, I worked for two different companies where I had my own office, one with a nice view of the city.

Deciding what the dues buy

There were aspects of both of these jobs that I really enjoyed.  I worked with some terrific professionals at both places.  But I missed the fast-paced environment of consulting, where there is always something to do that is usually much more interesting and challenging.  I was doing work that kept the railroad running and I missed the projects that cleared the land, laid new track and built faster and better locomotives.

I found that the private office was a nice perk as well as a status symbol.  I appreciated being able to close the door to have a private conversation.  It was also convenient not having to find a conference room for meetings with only a few people.

But that was as far as it went.  It didn’t compensate for being bored and unchallenged.  And I knew I would have been disappointed in myself when I got to retirement age and realized that I suffered through a job that I didn’t enjoy for years, just so I could have an office.

See my related post: There Is No Success  Rulebook

I was fortunate to find another position in consulting.  I’m now back in a war room with nine other team members managing projects for clients.  I don’t have my own office with a view, but I’ve learned that the grass isn’t always greener, sometimes the grass is just different.

If you would like to learn more about working in consulting, get Lew’s book Consulting 101: 101 Tips for Success in Consulting at

As always, I welcome your comments and criticisms.

Lew’s Books at Amazon:

Project Management 101
Consulting 101
The Reluctant Mentor

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