fare la gavetta
Parola del giorno | Word of the day
Today's Parola del Giorno is the expression, fare la gavetta, which means to pay one's dues or to cut one's teeth.
This expression is used to describe how a person must slog it out at the bottom of the ladder first before progressing to bigger and better things.
Literally, the gavetta is the mess tin that soldiers would eat their mess rations from. My guess is making this tin was one of the lowest forms of work that was likely doled out to the newest arrivals who had the least amount of training or were not suitable for more prestigious combat roles.
See the expression used below in its context:
Per molti giovani laureati, il primo passo nel mondo del lavoro consiste nel fare la gavetta: si comincia dal basso per imparare il lavoro e fare conoscenze utili per il futuro.
For many young graduates, the first step in the working world is paying one's dues: it starts from the bottom by learning the job and acquiring useful knowledge for the future.