All posts tagged: Advice

Career Strategy: When does your art become a hobby?

The movie Moneyball is solidly on my list of top ten baseball movies of all time (behind Field of Dreams, and The Natural, of course) One of my favorite quotes in the movie comes when a baseball scout talks to Billy Beane about the moment a baseball player is told to hang up their uniform. Here’s the clip from the movie, followed by the quote: Scout: “We’re all told at some point in time that we can no longer play the children’s game, we just don’t…we don’t know when that’s gonna be. Some of us are told at eighteen, some of us are told at forty, but we’re all told.” Instead of the above quote referring to the game of baseball, what if it was referring to our careers as artists? So often, we let others dictate our path instead of identifying the path we were meant to take ourselves. While sage wisdom from our mentors, family, and friends are necessary for us to see the bigger picture, the key here is that we are the only ones who …

Ten Steps to a Personal Strategy Statement

Yesterday, I wrote about the steps I was compelled to take in my career to develop a better work/life balance for myself. The post contained big picture thoughts on how to make change in your life and career. Today’s post provides 10 steps to help you develop your own personal strategy statement: Sit with a friend and come up with a list of the top 10 aspects of your career and life that are most important to you. For example, my family is really important to me, as is my work empowering individuals to find success so both would be on my top 10. It’s really important to have another person do this with you as they will often hear different values than you think you’re conveying. Goal: Ten career and life goals. No more, no less. Identify 5 individuals that are 5 years ahead of you who you admire in your professional field. Document their careers based on your ten goals. Goal: To compare and contrast things that are of value to you.  Take your ten …

Career Strategy for Artists

In 2010, I had the dream.  My wife and I owned a house and had recently welcomed our first child into the world. In addition, my work life was great. I had a tenure track position teaching bassoon at Bowling Green State University where I worked with a full studio of lovely students, I was performing regularly in two regional orchestras and my work as an instructor within the entrepreneurship program at the institution allowed me to create new career pathways for students from across the campus. Everything was perfect. Except it wasn’t. I was completely burnt out, tired from being stretched too thin, and not bringing my best to my work or my art. I knew I needed a change but was honestly lost because it was difficult for me to imagine leaving a career that so many people in my field were striving to achieve. My work/life balance was way out of sync, which meant that I wasn’t able to be present for my family, nor was I able to bring my best …

7 tips for artists considering work in a traditional, 9-5 job.

On my way into work this morning, I stumbled upon this article, which provides great insight into ways employers can retain a highly engaged team working on a common goal for their organization or business. This type of mindset is important for artists to think about for those who are considering more traditional, 9-5 work. This got me thinking about the following question: As an employee, what can artists do to help them love their work, stay engaged and play a role in building a highly effective business or organization. Here are some thoughts: Understand the potential differences between your values and the business where you choose to work — Ideally, your values will be the same as your employer, often times they are not. Figure out where to stretch your values and what values are not up for compromise. This is often the biggest reason I see individuals seek work elsewhere, and also the source of some of the greatest frustration for those stay on the job. Know before you go — Before you take …

What is an hour of your time actually worth from a Work Life Balance Perspective?

It’s a funny thing, time. We never seem to have enough of it, especially when pursuing an art form that is defined by a fleeting moment in our lives. One minute we’re on stage pouring our heart out for an audience, the next, we’re on the way home, thinking about the next performance. Our work leading to that intensive moment of artistic output causes us to value the time we have even more deeply. Hours and hours of work for a performance, and then it’s over as quickly as it began. Earlier this week, I wrote about strategies to determine the value of an hour of your time, but thinking about your work from a financial prospective is only one part of defining that value. Part of the reason so many artists face burn out in their playing is that, often, they wind up in situations that are not artistically satisfying. Compound that with the fact that it takes them away from family, friends and time for themselves, and the work becomes infinitely more frustrating. …