Careers Advice for MaidenFans Thread

Edington

Let's Get Volatile
Post away if you need some help with your work life. :)

Did your job require any education to enter?
No. It's a family run business, I was there part-time (not officially employed by them, just cash-in-hand) while I was at college. Once I finished my course I worked full-time on a temporary contract. Six months later I hadn't found anything else so I went on to a permanent contract.
 

Edington

Let's Get Volatile
Music Technology, it was a pretty basic covering of most aspects of the music business. I did hope it would get me some work in a local recording studio. I went along for an interview but never heard back.
 

Mosh

And I should contemplate this change
Staff member
I started college doing music technology and moved away from it. I got out of it cause I'm more interested in education than the hustle. Unfortunately your degree doesn't matter, but your resume does. You have to spend years working for free and making a name for yourself before it becomes a career.
 

LooseCannon

Yorktown-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
Music Technology, it was a pretty basic covering of most aspects of the music business. I did hope it would get me some work in a local recording studio. I went along for an interview but never heard back.
My sister did her bachelor of arts in jazz music, now she is a director at a theatre chain. You can probably turn this into a broader entertainment business thing.
 

Cornfed Hick

Ancient Mariner
Move to where the music jobs are. In the U.S., that would be LA, NYC, Nashville. Not sure where that would be in England, other than London.

As you are young, you have a lot of freedom. Consider building your own studio and/or starting your own label. Or be a freelance engineer. Better to be an entrepreneur instead of trying to be an employee. To Mosh's point, even if you fail, you will have a resume that will make you a more attractive hire later. And if you succeed, riches may follow.
 

Brigantium

Paladin of Voltron
Staff member
If a full time career isn't available at the moment, is there any way to do to part time, work on short-term projects only when time allows, or volunteer while having another day job to earn a living, until you break into this business?

As with a lot of lines of work, I'd say who you know can count for as much, if not more, than having a big portfolio of experience. Networking, promoting yourself, and getting involved in anything that'll bring you into contact with influential and well-placed people, means you're not a complete stranger trying to get hired.
 

LooseCannon

Yorktown-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
Freelancing is a good way to build experience, especially if you can hold down another job in the interim. But if your passion for music directly has left you, maybe look into adding another diploma, or adjacent experience.
 

Ariana

Black-and-white leopard
I have taken sharp turns in my career twice (well, one was sharper than the other). It's always good to try new things, especially when you're young. You have lots of opportunities to explore different industries and try out different positions. In the end, everything adds up to your professional and personal experience, so my view is that every young person who feels uncomfortable/unhappy in their current job should switch jobs immediately.
 

Zare

Automaton Sovietico
Better to be an entrepreneur instead of trying to be an employee.
This is a very one sided opinion, IMHO.

I don't want to work with people, that's why I'm an engineer. I don't care about marketing, customer support, SLAs, contracts, payments and other shit. The people that are into marketing, support specialists and economists care about that. That's their job, not mine. Even if I was average-good at the stuff (which isn't a given at all), I would have to split my time between engineering and business admin. Therefore any product that leaves my shop will be half-arsed, because I didn't put all the time I had into engineering where I'm best at.
 

Perun

Dominus et deus
Staff member
Freelancing can potentially be very rewarding, but if you decide to do it for a living, be prepared for the following:

  • You will not have a steady paycheck.
  • You will have to work with clients who are idiots. You either have to take the blame for their idiocy or run out of clients soon.
  • You will spend a lot of time doing unpaid labour preparing for clients or business opportunities that may never come.
  • Clients will pull out, and there will be a lot of work done for nothing.
  • Clients will try their best to pay as little as possible, or not to pay at all. They will offer you "exposure" instead, which you cannot eat.
  • Clients will take months to pay, and in the meantime your debt will rise.
  • You will never get sufficient credit or appreciation. Clients see you as a service provider, and they don't give a shit about the effort you put into something.
  • Clients will, however, notice when you phone something in.
  • Clients will tell you how to do your job. The less they know about your job, the more they will tell you how to do it.
  • You will spend more time marketing yourself and your work than doing your job. A freelancer is 75% sales rep for their own service.
  • There is no labour protection and no 35 hour week. There will be times when you will have to work 10+ hours straight for 7+ days. Nobody will give a shit about what it does to you.
  • You will have weeks or months with no commissions and weeks and months with gruelling deadlines, and none of your clients will care.
  • You will have many sleepless nights wondering how you will pay the rent. You might even not be able to pay the rent at all. Your landlord won't give a shit.
  • You will have many promises broken by clients and partners. It can happen at any time, with any job.
  • There is no guarantee for a light at the end of the tunnel.
I'd rather take poison than freelance for a living again, let me tell you that.
 

Zare

Automaton Sovietico
I actually wrote a paragraph about freelancing in my post and didn't finish it. I freelanced during college. I don't want to do it ever again. "Enterpreneuring" in a one man show is just this shit with a fancy word.
 

LooseCannon

Yorktown-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
Hey, some people love that feeling, winning customers and trying to build a client base. Some people love to do it on their own, others for a company. I guess it all depends on what speaks to @Edington.
 

Edington

Let's Get Volatile
First off, I appreciate you taking the time to respond, thank you. :)

I do like the idea of having control over my own work, so I actually have given some serious thought about freelance work recently, in particular becoming a luthier. One of the subjects on my college course (the one I received my highest grade in, as it happens) was the set up of instruments and how they work, as technicians we would need to know how to set them up for a live band. In time I've found that I enjoy working on my own guitars, so it was always there in the back of my mind that I could go on to do that for a living. There would be some issues though. I have money saved up and set aside so I would have something to put towards starting a company and buying the right tools and equipment, and while worrying about paying rent wouldn't be that big of a problem as I'm still living at home... I'm still living at home, which means I'm relying on my parents to be accepting of me running this kind business out of their house, you're also looking at the space required, which our house lacks. I could look into renting a small industrial space, but that's more money going out. Also, as my savings are currently being set aside to help me move out, if I were to put some of it into my business, I would have to be prepared that it would be quite a long time before I managed to see that kind of money again, meaning it would be even longer before I manage to get my own place. Couple this with Perun's list and I'm starting to wonder if this is more hassle than it's worth. Although, as Brigs said, I could potentially stay in my current employment part time, just to keep some money coming in. I started off that way, so I don't see any reason why I wouldn't be able to go back, especially considering we have since taken on a couple more employees who would fill my place.

Going back to a previous point, the only reason I question whether I would need some sort of training or education in another area is because it's not just the company I want to leave, I don't want to stay in this line of work, but feel as though I lack much experience that could help me find something else.
 

Perun

Dominus et deus
Staff member
Hey, some people love that feeling, winning customers and trying to build a client base. Some people love to do it on their own, others for a company. I guess it all depends on what speaks to @Edington.
As I said, it can be potentially rewarding. However, this thread asks for advice, and the only advice I can give is from my own experience. And from my own experience, I would strongly and decidedly advise against freelancing for a living.

From my experience, the main benefit of freelancing that has been brought up here - freedom - is a mirage, or actually just a lie. You do not have freedom. You do not have the freedom to choose your own clients, because you will need any client you can get. You do not have the freedom of equipment or method, because client requests are often so specific that there's basically only one way to do it. And you do not have the freedom of choosing your working hours, because a client gives you a deadline, this deadline is often short, and if you say you can't deliver on the deadline, the client will look for somebody else. The deadline dictates your working hours, and you have no influence on them.

The only real benefit of freelancing is work experience that can land you a proper job somewhere down the line. But if you get that job without the hell of freelancing, then by all means take it.

I would recommend freelancing if you are in a secure position and want a bit of extra income or some variety in your daily life. Do it as a hobby. Then maybe five years down the line you may realise that you have a good client base and enough experience that you can turn it into a full-time business with stable conditions. But for the love of god, do not start from the scratch as a full-time freelancer.
 

chaosapiant

Ancient Marinade
Freelancing and what not is great for people who absolutely need that freedom and have the level of creativity, initiative, and drive to pull it off. It's not for everyone. I'm a person it's not meant for. I work best as an office building drone. I need a job that pays well, is at least marginally rewarding, and allows me to type shit like this on the internet while pretending to be working. I don't have the drive or initiative to start my own business even though I have a set of skills that I could use to do so. It's a lot of work and I kinda just like being told what to do, doing it, and going home. I don't want my job to be my life, just a means to an end.
 
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