All posts tagged: career planning

The Best Tool for Discovering your Strengths.

One of the biggest challenges we face in the arts is that we tend to be conformist in nature. We look back at traditional approaches to learn our art in order to catapult us into the future. We need to separate the formal practice of learning our high art from our future career path. As I’ve mentioned in the past, I do believe there is a standardized course of study that prepares us to be artists. The art of careful, diligent practice under the guidance of a mentor and a commitment to beauty and fluency are especially important for artists to be successful. However, beyond a specific scope and sequence for your applied art, there is no “one-size-fits-all” rubric for career success.  We are all different, with a diversity of hopes and dreams, wants and needs that define our career. On top of this, we all have different personalities that are ever-present during our pursuit. In my experience, I haven’t seen a particular personality have a better shot than others at forging a successful career. …

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 …

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 …

4 things to consider as you find a place to call home

This blog post is beautiful.  Stripped down and vulnerable, Amy effectively places her personal values in front of where she lives.   What role does “place” play in launching your career?  This post looks at the notion of “place” as it relates to career planning and attempts to help you think about your own values while deciding where you should call home. Cool Cities In 2002, Richard Florida wrote about the creative class and presented a new way for city leaders to think about urban renewal. Florida’s hypothesis for the movement was rooted in three interlinked factors that distinguish a cool city: Talent—Manufacturing jobs are gone.  That means cool cities must have a highly educated workforce to thrive.    Technology—Cool cities need tech companies, research and development facilities, and other creative economy businesses to provide a place for the highly educated workforce to be employed.   Tolerance—Cool cities need a large gay and lesbian population, combined with a bohemian under culture often associated with artists to keep the highly educated workforce excited about living and working in the city.   In short, artists make noticeably uncool cities, cool.  Rust belt cities invested in …

4 Ways to save yourself from a soul-sucking college experience

By the start of the second semester of my masters degree in bassoon performance, I knew I didn’t want to be an orchestral musician.  I was lost.  Everyone was (seemingly) passionately pursuing their degree, determined to land that coveted orchestral position.  The pursuit of perfection and mastery on the bassoon drove me, but without the goal of attaining a job in an orchestra there wasn’t a clear path to a sustainable career.   The realization that my degree path might not be the key to my career success took me to dark places, quickly draining my passion for the work.  The soul-sucking, 21st century, college experience left one thing clear: The next steps in my college education would be on me. If the 21st century college experience is not what you expected, you’re not alone. Many of you are questioning your degree path, the amount of debt you’re taking on, your institution, and your decision to attend college in the first place.  This is not your fault. Universities are going through an identity crisis, trying to preserve their great traditions, while attempting …