Is it Necessary to Maintain a Day Job in the Music Industry?

MusiciansLet’s face it: we’d all quit our day jobs if we thought our art could carry us through. However, there’s still a lot of baristas in this world waiting for their big break, and we’ve all gotta make the rent somehow. (Says the blog writer…)

Whether you can quit your day job to focus on your music just depends on whether you can pull it off.

Things To Consider Before Quitting Your Day Job

1 – Employment gaps kill your job prospects.

We can’t really sugar-coat this one. If you quit your job for music, and a couple years later you can tell it’s not working, it’s going to be far harder to find employment again.

This truly is a life-changing decision. Don’t think you can “just go back” if the music thing falls through. It won’t be that easy.

2 – Digital music distribution helps a lot.

One big advantage musicians today have over older generations is the digital music distribution revolution. If you have a presence on all the online shops, that can provide an income that follows you anywhere, no matter what you end up doing.

As long as you’re convincing people to buy your music online, you’ll have those revenue streams. The importance to digital music distribution to today’s independent artist really can’t be overstated.

3 – Maintain savings.

Once you get some revenues coming in, the best thing you can possibly do is keep it dumping into a savings account of some sort. Independent work is never constant and steady. You’ll have dry spells, and you must be able to keep something in reserve for when they happen.

The spendthrift rarely fare well in the music industry. You tend to see them on cable channels devoted to retro nostalgia.

4 – Consider moving.

Cost of living is a major consideration at the best of times. If you’ve decided you want to give the whole “starving artist” thing a try, think about moving someplace where you won’t be starving so much.

A bit of online research and networking can usually point you towards cities and neighborhoods with art-friendly local economies.

One Comments

  • Kirby Arrington 06 / 03 / 2014 Reply

    I want to say something about this particular topic. I spent over two years developing my first album. I wanted it perfect because i figured it could be my only one. During that time I remained employed with the same job I had six years prior to starting my album project. What I did was I decided to change my shift and I worked fewer hours, but the new shift gave me more days off of work. And I focused on my album project like a college student would focuses on balancing school and work. But money was still coming in, so my bills remained paid.

    Now that my album is complete. I still have to promote it, and get it going just like a baby growing up until it’s able to (in a way) stand on it’s own two feet and grow. And hopefully in the future it will be able to give you a better life. My advice from one artist to the next is incorporate your life to include your art. Until your art is profitable. Then you build on that and grow and soon your art will be your day job.

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