Most of us pay our dues in one way or another at the start of our careers. We intern, we get the boss coffee, we take on projects no one else wants, we perform above our pay grade to prove we deserve the next pay grade, title, or responsibility.
Ari Gold's assistant Lloyd has displayed serious professional confidence on the current season of Entourage. He demanded a promotion after yelling that he'd "paid his dues." At Ari's insistence Lloyd is currently on a "prove it!" mission (we're supposed to believe he's even blogging about the effort on HBO's website). The plot got me thinking about the gut-wrenching time in everyone's career where we must prove to our manager or employer that we are ready to rise above their expectations of us. It's a feeling that can last a few months, a few years, or even decades. Have you made it, or are you still paying with painful pennies?