Re: Realistic options for a music related career posted by jiwabi posted by jiwabi

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Realistic options for a music related career on August 30, 2019 @ 3:27 pm
by unam jiwabi  

Say you're in your mid thirties, you've been working as a web developer for almost 15 years, and you've been doing a mediocre job at it. While your peers change jobs every few years in order to advance their careers, take on new challenges and get a pay raise, you're compelled to change jobs whenever your current employer brings in a new technology, because you can't learn it fast enough to keep up. Whenever you're given a new assignment at work, you take so long adapting to the new requirements that someone else ends up doing it all for you while you continue to handle the increasingly trivial maintenance on whatever it was you were working on before. Every five years or so, you're diagnosed with another autoimmune disease, due to the cognitive dissonance of trying to act like you know what you're doing when you so clearly don't. That's my career in a nutshell, and I'm not exaggerating about the autoimmune diseases.

Clearly, it's time to try something else. It's been time. Now, I know that there are many jobs I can do well enough to make a living, and probably without injuring myself any further. Pragmatic jobs that can draw on my existing experience, or that don't require much experience but still pay enough to get by. I could do like a lot of failed developers and become a project manager. Someone told me bartending is a decent way to make money, or I could try to salvage my design degree even though I've never really applied it professionally, and don't really have a passion for it.

I'm really, really not looking for fame and fortune. This is what I want: when you put two people on the same task, I want to be the one whose genuine enthusiasm gives my work just a little bit of an edge. Just like the people I work with today, who go home and work on their own apps in their free time, then come in the next day and apply the experience to their day jobs. I'm good at something, and I want to have that be relevant in some way, however small.

Unfortunately that something is music. And we all know a music career is a huge gamble even when you're 18 and thinking about college majors. At 34, it just doesn't seem like a realistic option. It might be realistic if I were already good enough at an instrument to teach, but I estimate at least 5 more years before I get to that level. It doesn't help that I've got the stereotypical programmer's smooth, charismatic personality. But one thing I do have going for me is I'm really interested in anything and everything music related. I'd be happy just getting to hear a lot of interesting albums, wade through the samples sent in by aspiring artists, write about music, do research, find songs with lyrics that go with today's podcast theme.

So I'm posting here in the hope of getting advice from someone who knows. Maybe someone at a radio station, an advertising agency, maybe an administrative staff person at a record label, who might be able to tell me this: if there's just one music related career option out there where I stand any chance of success, which one is it?