All posts tagged: career development

Career planning for artists: Why a three year plan of action is the new ten.

What do you see yourself doing in five to ten years? That’s a big, important, overwhelming question. In my experience, five to ten years is too long of a runway to come up with a concrete plan of action. Think about all of the things you’ve done over the last five to ten years. You’ve likely had some major life changes in that time. Planning that far into the future isn’t really a productive exercise in our fast paced world. When I advise artists, instead of asking them to map out the next ten years, I ask them to picture their ideal career in three years. Three years gives my clients enough time and space to think about what they want to do, come up with a plan, and act on it. Here are some steps you can take to come up with a strategic plan for your life and career: Forget the pathways that have been prescribed to you — To start any strategic planning process, I always encourage artists to consider the variety of …

The Long Tail Sessions, Vol. V—Jonathan Kuuskoski interview and some great tools of the trade, and an amazing playlist.

Hi everyone! This week, I decided to include a short interview with Jonathan Kuuskoski, who currently serves as the Interim Chair of the Department of Entrepreneurship & Leadership (EXCEL) and Director of the EXCEL Lab at the University of Michigan School of Music Theatre and Dance. Here is the interview: I’m also happy to share my weekly Long Tail Session, which includes recommendations from Jonathan. Here are the show notes Jonathan and I spoke about in the video. Here are the show notes. Link to Volume V of the Long Tail Sessions: Link to the Khemia Ensemble. Link to Asana, a free task management tool for your team. Art Thinking: How to Carve Out Creative Space in a World of Schedules, Budgets, and Bosses by Amy Whitacre. About The Long Tail Sessions: Last winter, I traveled from LA to NYC on a Virgin America flight and loved that the in-flight entertainment featured musicians in alphabetical order. At first, I found it jarring to see Beethoven next to the Beatles, but then I thought “Of course they’re featured side-by-side, …

Thoughts on Why Music Schools Must Embed Context into the Curriculum

Yesterday, I wrote this post, which discusses the role of arts entrepreneurship in higher education. After the post, I started thinking more deeply about the role that context plays in the process of educating our arts students. Higher education helps students go deep in a few subject areas, but mostly, the courses students take provide a big picture overview of many subjects. The odd thing is that the professors teaching the big picture overview courses most likely got their teaching positions because they went incredibly deep in a very specific subject area. Teaching a big picture class is antithetical to the depth of work and research most professors conducted in their studies in order to get the position they have teaching their general studies courses. Instead of big picture classes, our current college students need depth classes with less content so they can take the information learned and connect it to the broader context of our 21st century world. Here are a few additional thoughts on the value of context: We now have unlimited access …

Trying to find balance as an Artist? Stop taking every gig that comes your way!

We’ve all done it. We’ve taken that gig that seemed like a great idea six months ago. Now, we find ourselves sitting in traffic much like the photo above, wondering why we made the decision in the first place. Yesterday, I wrote this post about how artists could find balance using Pareto’s Principle, also known as the 80-20 rule.  In it’s purest form, the 80-20 rule makes good sense. Unfortunately, when it comes to gigs, we often toss in other variables, like the desire to make great art and the fear that your phone may not ring the next time around if you turn something down. Too many of us are blindly taking gigs and not thinking about balance. Here are some thoughts as you consider your work: All gigs are not created equal. Don’t take every gig that comes your way.  I often hear from people that the most frustrating gigs are the engagements that are artistically compromising.Action: Stop participating in gigs that are artistically compromising and spend that time practicing, reading, learning, or being …

The Real Reasons New Business Generation is Shrinking

Tim Askew’s recent post about the state of entrepreneurship in the US was filled with interesting statistics and a provocative, editorialized rationale for the reason people aren’t launching small businesses.  While nobody would challenge the diminishing  numbers, I think they have less to do with government overreach and more to do with our children not being adequately prepared to creatively lead businesses. In 10+ years of advising students in entrepreneurial endeavors, I have not once heard a student say “I was going to start that business, but overreach by the US government is holding me back.”  For me, it is the constraints our education system has placed on student development that I find most troubling.  Here are three reasons I believe new venture creation is shrinking in America: 1. No Child Left Behind In 2002, I began my career as an elementary school music teacher.  Unfortunately, that was also the first year of No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Over two years I witnessed, first-hand, the deconstruction of the arts in the public schools. We are …