CAREER DEVELOPMENT

This page gives both newcomers and those with some experience the opportunity to assess their current career position with a view to making the necessary improvements needed to progress. If you look at the Industry Overview page you will see a table dividing the industry into 3 very rough sectors, each of which contains its own set of roles and skills. This page suggests ways in which people can make self-assessments and developments plans.

Self-evaluation.

It is all too easy to think that you've achieved nothing or to think that you are great, when in actual fact none of these are true. It is not often that people take stock of their development and when they do they can be quite surprised (either way).

It usually takes 3 to 5 years for significant progress in the music industry to have taken place, at least as far as earning a living is concerned. This of course varies from person to person depending on the effort they put in and whether luck and good timing have been on their side. As time goes by you learn more things and hopefully are better able to take advantage of the positions and opportunities which will come your way.

What this exercise is all about is comparison. Putting down some information about your current career experience and skills and then comparing the same questions some time later, in a year or 6 months say.

The table which comes with this exercise has 3 columns; the first has a question, the next 2 are left blank for you to fill in realistically. You may as well be 100% honest with these because the questions are about you and its your progress which is being monitored. Again it is you who is doing the monitoring. Other people in the industry tend to be mostly concerned with their own development, so its generally up to you to make your own progress.

Self-Assessment Table.

NB: The tables below relate to a chosen career path of a Music Performer. Other career paths would use a different set of questions.

QUESTION
NOW
TARGET
How do you rate your performance skills?
/10
/10
What is the largest audience you've played to?? . .
What's the most you've been paid for playing, performing or writing music? . .
How many other musicians do you know? . .
How many other sorts of music industry people do you know (managers, promoters, agents, etc)? . .
Have you ever had professional dealings with any of the above? . .
How well can you use a computer? . .

There are of course several questions of this sort which arenít here (I canít think of everything!).You need to assess your current position as honestly as possible, and plan your development according to what you learn in relation to your chosen career. Remember, as you learn more about the industry your initial desired roles may well change. Donít worry if this happens Ė the more skills and contacts you pick up, the better for any role.

Milestones

Some events and activities can be viewed as milestones in your progress. They will be different as your career develops. Some of these will represent 'turning points' in your career, after which it will pick up or slow down depending on what it is and how you react to it.

Some of these experiences will be positive, others negative. You have to learn the most appropriate reaction to them with respect to your chosen path.

Here are some positive ones.

EVENT
Has This Happened?
Playing your first gig to a live audience.
yes/no
Getting paid for a gig.
yes/no
Playing with other groups live.
Not your first band, new people.
yes/no
Reading and understanding a contract.
yes/no
Playing in a recording studio.
yes/no
Making a demo.
yes/no
Being on a released CD or record.
yes/no
Having a review in the press.
yes/no
Being on the radio.
yes/no

Here are some negative ones.

EVENT
Has This Happened?
Power going off at a gig.
yes/no
Not being paid when you should have.
yes/no
Arguing badly with a band member.
yes/no
Arguing with a sound engineer in a sound check or during/after a performance.
yes/no
Forgetting an important piece of equipment.
yes/no
Leaving the advertising for a gig until too late.
yes/no
Being so nervous that your performance was effected.
yes/no
Getting told you were rubbish by an audience member.
yes/no
Being sacked from a band.
yes/no
Running up debts with a rehearsal studio and being turned away.
yes/no

Most of the things in the two tables above will happen to you at some time or other. Some of the bad ones will be embarrassing or even ego-shattering but don't worry, its all experience. The main thing is to be aware of your music experience as one of learning - that way you are constantly increasing your chances of succeeding in some way.