A little patience

Published 10:35 pm Friday, June 27, 2014

Folks of a certain age will always think of Tim Reid as Venus Flytrap in the iconic ’70s sitcom “WKRP in Cincinnati.” Those who weren’t fortunate enough to catch that show when it ruled the airwaves are more likely to know him from his role in “That ’70s Show.”

But for a group of students from the Pruden Center’s Workforce Investment Act program, he will likely always be the smartly dressed man who visited them in the summer of 2014 and challenged them to patiently chase their dreams, even if that means working for free to build their credibility and experience.

“You have got to learn the basic moves before you can get paid,” Reid told a group at the Pruden Center on Thursday. For a generation known for its sense of entitlement, Reid’s may have been a startling message, but it’s one that bears their consideration.

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There was a time when apprentices regularly took low-paying or even volunteer positions in order to garner experience they could then parlay into paying careers. It was known as paying one’s dues, and it was a tried-and-true method of breaking into many career fields.

Pursuing experience in this fashion often meant working multiple jobs in order to support oneself, and it rarely resulted in quick fortunes. Perhaps that’s why the type of path Reid suggested is no longer popular in an age of reality television and government handouts.

But Reid’s advice was sound, especially the part about being patient. Big dreams don’t come true without hard work and sacrifice, and they aren’t realized overnight. A little patience goes a long way.