It’s been awhile, I’m sorry. 🙂 I’ll try to post as often as I can.
For awhile I’ve been following various music students and graduates. I keep in touch with them to see what they’re up to and where they’re at the moment. It’s interesting and sometimes surprising to see the different paths they follow.
What I witness a lot during my talks with students is that the ones who just started their program have this positive attitude and confidence that they’ll have a job for sure in the area that they wanna be at, while at the end of the school year they get a bit less confident and a bit more nervous. Why? Cause it doesn’t always turn out the way you expect it to be.
You graduate, you have your diploma and now what? That’s a ❓ that comes to mind and not only to those who study music. You gained all this knowledge (hopefully) during your school years and now it’s time to go out there which is not an easy thing, cause where do you start and what is it you really want? Most of the time you’ll eventually work in a place that doesn’t even match the career you had in mind. And then you ask yourself what the heck happened? Well in most cases LIFE ❗ that’s what happened. It makes you wonder if you are in control of choosing your path or has it already been drawn out for you.
Eventually it’s up to you to take the next step.
When you graduate, it’s done. The school has done their job and now you’re the one who needs to make the next move. I hear stories from students telling school doesn’t assist them after they graduate. Exactly! You know why? ....... Cause they don’t have to. If you want to get something done, make sure you do it during your school years. You paid for school to learn something. You go to school for 1, 2, 3, 4, years, maybe longer. During that time gain all the knowledge you can and ASK your teachers to advice you. Never stop asking questions. Ofcourse there are the exceptions, but keep in mind as soon as you’re out the building, you’re OUT and on your own. Some of us do ask questions and attend as much classes possible, while others tend to not do that, cause somehow we feel like we’ve got this.... Well, we don’t.
Trust me I was surprised at first when I heard about the lack of “aftercare”. Somehow we expect the school to help us further after graduation. Although the school is not obligated to do so, it would be nice if they would create some kind of service that could offers some of assistance after you leave. There are a couple of schools who do have some “aftercare”, but what they created is more of a portal where you can get in touch with former students. This could of course be useful, but in the end you’ll notice it’s up to you anyway.
My opinion is, that when schools do invest in the “aftercare” it’ll only be in their advantage. The feedback students give them will help develop the schools program even more and for the better. This way they can shape and form their information to the current state of the business and prepare the new students for what’s out there. Somehow schools don’t tend to invest much in that part, cause they think more about what they can gain financially right now, at this moment, instead of looking further into the future. Not being aware of what’s really going on. When students leave school a bit clueless, it could have a negative effect on the future of music, cause there’s always a group of students who don’t continue their path in the world of music. I’ll be publishing interviews I had with students in Future of Music section soon and how they experienced life after graduation. Some struggled and decided to do something completely different, while others didn’t have any problems at all.
What is important to know is that you need to be prepared and don’t expect anything. That’s the most important lesson, expect nothing! This way you won’t be disappointed. Most schools don’t really teach you or tell you what happens next. They expect that now they gave you the tools (the once that they think you need), you know how to apply them. You start searching the internet and you respond to the jobs listed. In most cases they ask for people with experience, which is pretty impossible when you just finished school? The search can be a very long process with ups and downs and it takes a lot of effort, commitment, determination and persistence. There will come a point that you feel like you’ve lost all hope, but somehow something always happens. It may not have the outcome you were hoping for, but it doesn’t just stop.
There are so many factors that can influence your path but when you’re driven and focused enough, you’ll eventually find a way to get to the destination you had in mind.
I recently had a talk with someone about my path. The question WHAT IS IT YOU WANT? made me self reflect on everything. I knew what I wanted my goal to be, somehow along the way I stopped in the middle of that road, cause I lost sight of my goal. I was in my own safe-zone and why would I leave that zone? I liked the security, but what did it really add? You get so used to this zone, the chances are you become too comfortable and get stuck in that zone.
The big problem is taking that leap of faith. Some are more daring and just jump in while others are more satisfied with the safe-zone they’re in, which is also understandable, but to be honest it doesn’t really get you anywhere and it isn’t really exciting when you think about the dreams you really have.
It’s not that easy in getting that dream job in the music business. The competition is pretty high and nowadays it’s difficult getting an internship. I mean there are no record companies like back in the days and there are less studios, cause most people can record their own stuff just at home. Not to mention the possibilities within social media like YouTube. And another thing, what are the possible jobs within the music industry? Not a lot of people are aware of all the options available in this business and are too focused on the performance area. Keep in mind that to be able to perform you need other people to assist you (manager, wardrobe, producer, musicians, etc.). There are so many music related jobs, the possibilities are endless and I feel it’s important that we become aware of that, but I’ll discuss that in a future blog post.
What does come in handy is when you have “connections” in the business, but how does it work when you don’t? Start networking!! You can never start too early with that. And with networking I mean meeting people FACE to FACE.
Someone once told me if you look for your “WHY” things will fall into place.
Education is one of those basic needs in life. In order to get something done, you need to know how to do it, WHY you’re doing it and what will it take to get it done.
A diploma is not the guarantee you know it all and that you get the job you had in mind just like that. Does this means we shouldn’t even put in the effort? No on the contrary.
Stay focused, follow your heart and use all the resources you have around you to get the answer to your WHY.
It may not succeed the first time, or the 2nd or 3rd or 37th time, but eventually it will.
There are multiple paths to take and along the way you too will find your comfort in the safe-zone, from that point on it eventually is up to you to see what’s at the end of that road. But if you’re driven and committed enough you will get to the destination you had in mind, even if it means that you have to take a detour.
I want to know your experience and your thoughts. Maybe you have good advice or a complete different experience. Please share. Cause in the end we are all here to learn something.