The music industry may slow down, but it never stops

If you want to work in music then you need to think about it as a business, and this business is never closed.

Today is President’s Day in North America, which many of you already know on account of the fact you are not currently at work or in class. President’s Day is one of the strange holidays where many people are given a day of rest, but not everyone, and where you fall in that spectrum depends entirely on what it is you do.

For music professionals, today is just another Monday, one of fifty-two we will work in 2017. Aside from a few major holidays (Christmas, Thanksgiving), the vast majority of the music workforce wakes every weekday prepared to do business. Some even work on the weekend.

Many music professionals have no choice other than to work through holidays because that is a time when whatever it is they do is in high demand. a lot of musicians tour around the holidays because there is an increased demand for entertainment, which in turn means everyone who works for those musicians is in some small way working as well.

Every career demands certain sacrifices, and in the case of music almost every position you could dream of holding will demand your time and concentration far more than you may expect. This business never stops. The people who find the most success do so by working tirelessly, even when they should arguably be relaxing.

To be clear: You do not have to sacrifice your personal life to be a music professional. You can live a happy and successful career in music while also spending time with family and friends. Any career that demands otherwise is not a career you should aspire to call your own because everyone needs time for themselves. Even the people I mentioned above, who choose to work more than their peers because they feel it helps them get/stay ahead, need time to disengage from the business life. They might not know it now, and they might argue its necessity, but it’s nonetheless true and one day they too will agree.

All that said, you should be prepared to make sacrifices as needed to further your career. Especially for those just starting out, putting in extra time and effort can go a long way to establishing your reputation in this business. Once people see that you’re driven and hardworking they will want to align themselves with you. Jobs will come in time, and with the security of a paycheck comes the ability to exhale, step back, and relax. Not for too long, of course, but long enough to catch your breath.

This business never stops. If it one day should, we are all in deep trouble. Learn to ride the wave and take breaks when you need it. Learn to seek opportunities to showcase your skills and complete them. There is always something to be done.

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the Director of Customer Engagement at Haulix and host of the company's podcast, Inside Music. He is also a public speaker known for promoting careers in the entertainment industry, as well as an entertainment journalist with over a decade of experience. His bylines include Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, Nu Sound, and Under The Gun Review, among other popular outlets.