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Archive for the ‘Time management’ Category

I never thought I’d say this, but I am HUGELY relieved to have – for the first time in my life, starting this September – a regularly scheduled, Monday-Friday, 8 AM – 4 PM job.  Yes, a real job!  Consistency, benefits, paid holidays, health insurance…but most importantly — regular and PREDICTABLE hours!  As a musician (and yes, this is indeed a music job), I pretty much never thought this would appeal to me so much.  My reasons are below.  (I hope this post doesn’t come off as my just wanting to write about myself…it’s really to show a fresh perspective on musicians becoming employed in a way that leads to consistency.  What a novel idea!) 😉

I did 12 years of higher education, 11 years of which were spent making money with a variety of colorful (or boring) jobs, most notably teaching part-time at 3 different music academies (these were not the boring jobs, trust me!), a couple music festivals, gigging, and doing a too-brief 3-semester stint as NYU adjunct.  None of the above brought me very much money, with the exception of a relatively small handful of gigs that were fun, rewarding, and quite memorable.  Now, money was never a reason for going into music.  It sounds cliche, but let’s face it — unless you want and actually have the ability to be Yo Yo Ma or Paul McCartney — the money may or may not be okay…maybe “decent” is a better word.  I went through a couple years where I was gigging and teaching a lot, and got enormous satisfaction from actually getting by as a “working musician,” all the while moving towards finishing my last degree.  So it’s totally do-able, and I know some musicians around my age who appear to be extremely successful at doing what they do best — being musicians.  So this blog is not to get dark on being a musician or to sound woeful about the difficulties of being a freelancer.  BUT…it’s a hard life for most of us, I’m not gonna lie.

But believe it or not, money is not the main motivation in my deciding to write this.  What bugs me beyond belief and is literally the bane of my existence?  SCHEDULING.  Scheduling anything!  Gigs, rehearsals, social plans, trips, time with my husband, time to see our families.  It’s all an uphill battle.  Now, granted some of this is because I had to take a very irregular “day job” (quotations are appropriate because I basically work the night shift at this freakin’ place), which has me on a different schedule every week.  But nonetheless, scheduling has always, always, always been difficult.  Why?  Because there has never — NEVER — been any sort of regularity with my schedule.  Sure, I taught Mondays for 5 years.  But other than that?  Forget about it.  Always different.  Always stressful.  A friend emails to get together?  Oh gosh.  So difficult scheduling things that are really, at the end of the day, so terribly important.

So a “9-5”?  Now, my future “9-5” does not involve my being in a cubicle or spending excessive time on the computer (at least, I don’t think so) or sitting alone for long periods of time under florescent lights.  It’s music-oriented, has me taking my cello to work, teaching, playing, working with people, that kind of thing, which sounds so wonderful to me.  I was hired because of my qualifications, so there’s automatically a nice feeling of having been hired for the “right” reasons.  But what is a key thing I am most looking forward to?  A friend calling me to get together and here is my response: “I’m back in the city by 5:30-ish Monday-Friday…oh!  And I have Good Friday off, so why don’t we get together then?  Or maybe the following Wednesday around 7:00?  8th Street Wine Cellar?  Perfect, let’s do it!”  Or someone calls me for a Saturday gig.  My answer: “Sure, I’m always free Saturdays!  And ya know what?  Your group should play at my new place of work!  I’ll try to work that out!”  Omg.  Could it get any better?!?!

My husband and I have occasionally knocked 9-5-ers I think because we’ve viewed that lifestyle as “settling” in some way.  Like it’s boring or it doesn’t represent the “artistic life” or the “passionate life.”  There may be some truth to that, I’m not gonna lie.  But I think everyone reaches their limit on unpredictability — what will January look like?  What will April look like?  Well, we just don’t know, do we?  Ugh, I’m over it!   I’m a Taurus, I know, but still!  So stressful!

I’ll re-evaluate my “9-5” after I’ve been in it for a while, but in the meantime, I am VERY excited about the prospect of a new way of life, and I feel very, very lucky right now.  And I think my free time will be creatively utilized, thanks to these scheduling regularties…  To be continued…

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