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  1. #1
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    Default Should I work part-time or full-time?

    I am studying music right now, and my mum told me that I am embarrassing her and she doesn't know what to tell relatives whenever relatives ask about me because I am studying a useless degree when everybody around me has already started working at my age and she said I should go work full-time.

    I currently have a casual job but in my mum's eyes this isn't considered a real job, and she wants me to go find a real full-time office job.

    So I was thinking of going to work full-time and continue studying music at the same time, I refused to give up on music because I've already come so far and giving up now would be a waste of my previous efforts.


    My ideal career though, is I am planning to work for myself. And I already have a few ideas in mind, and I am planning to put my ideas into action. The only problem is, if I try out this self-employment route, I will need time to meet my customers.

    But how am I supposed to squeeze in time to meet customers if I have a full-time job + studying at the same time?

  2. #2
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    Are you studying music history, theory, or performance?

    Unless you are set on an academic life, which it sounds like you're not, music history is something to read about in your spare time. Performance is mainly a matter of discipline but depending on what instrument you play and what you want to do with it, being part of a conservatory may be helpful. However they tend to be on the expensive side and are a big commitment (examinations etc). And while books are a useful resource you really need to take a course to fully understand music theory.

    "Studying music" is pretty vague, if you can be more specific about what you are doing I can offer better advice.

    Regardless, I do agree with your mum that it is important to have some kind of backing income. Music is a high-risk career option that rarely pays well - most musicians have other jobs.

  3. #3
    Entertaining Cracker five sounds's Avatar
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    don't worry about your mom's embarrassment or your relatives. do what you feel is best for you.

    i think this sounds like a great time in your life to work part time at a job where you know you'll have steady income (whatever "not real" job you have right now) and then spend the remainder of your time working part time to build your career in music.

    best of luck. don't give in to the pressures of having a 9-5 office job. unless that's what you want, you'll surely regret doing it out of a feeling of obligation.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Complexity View Post
    I am studying music right now, and my mum told me that I am embarrassing her and she doesn't know what to tell relatives whenever relatives ask about me because I am studying a useless degree when everybody around me has already started working at my age and she said I should go work full-time.

    I currently have a casual job but in my mum's eyes this isn't considered a real job, and she wants me to go find a real full-time office job.
    Well, to stop right here: This is not about your "mom being embarrassed," this is about you doing stuff with your life that will enable you to live contentedly and happily and productively. This isn't about her, IOW. She might not be ready to accept that, but if she continues, you at least need to understand that she's being self-absorbed and worried more about her own discomfort than about what is best for you, so that you can stay "on target" and not let her drag you down.

    Things get a little hairier if you are living with her and/or she is supporting your degree in some way, so at that point some negotiation is necessary. But emotionally it's very clear she's not thinking about you overtly, she is consciously focused on herself (although I also suspect she might worry underneath about how you'll make a living, etc.)

    So I was thinking of going to work full-time and continue studying music at the same time, I refused to give up on music because I've already come so far and giving up now would be a waste of my previous efforts.
    How much longer do you have?

    My ideal career though, is I am planning to work for myself. And I already have a few ideas in mind, and I am planning to put my ideas into action. The only problem is, if I try out this self-employment route, I will need time to meet my customers.

    But how am I supposed to squeeze in time to meet customers if I have a full-time job + studying at the same time?
    Be practical, be Te about it.

    Put all the stuff on the table, be realistic, and see what combinations work and what combinations do not.

    Maybe you CAN'T work full-time right now to make Mom happy + study + do self-employment. Maybe you can. But you have to be brutally honest and also give yourself time in that schedule to take care of yourself (i.e., not run yourself into the ground / get stressed).

    I also suspect that if you can come up with a plan, even if it's not everything your mom wants, if it's a plan that can be quantified so that she can understand it and see a timeline in place, she might ease up since she'll be able to see how it works + be able to tell the relatives something. But primarily the plan is for you so you don't lose your way and know what your goals are and where you are trying to go.


    .... as far as music goes, realistically, yeah performance is a hard business to excel in due to the glut of talented people all vying for the same slots/attention. But I will also say that one of my dreams was becoming a professional musician and I have some real talent there, it's just I did not get the support I needed from my parents in a sense that would help me succeed. My father specifically was the voice of "reason" and told me to get a technical job and do music in my spare time, and that made sense at the time; but now I regret it -- I've spent 25 years in a career I'm decent at but don't care enough about to excel, I make too good a salary to just quit because I need to support my children, I don't have the energy to pursue music in my "spare time," and I missed a lot of opportunities to improve my musical skills and maybe achieve some level of success in my life.

    I can't provide you a blanket statement to tell you what to do, but regardless of what you're interested in, I do think it's important to honor what your spirit is driving you towards even if your brain can point out a darker realism. Be realistic, but also understand what you need to thrive. The reality is that I would likely have less money nowadays but there's a decent chance I would be a lot happier.
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  5. #5
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    Disclaimer: You've given me no context, so I'm throwing ideas out there. If they pertain to you already, just ignore it.

    It depends on how much you want your mom to influence your life. If she's embarrassed by your pursuits, I don't think any amount of getting any job will help with that. You need to address the issue of why she is scorning a degree in music.

    If, however, she is helping you PAY for it, I can see why she might be upset if she's sending you to a really good school, and you're living with her, and you're not really contributing. If you're like me and getting your education for free or damn near it, paying rent to her, taking care of your shit like an adult, I'd say she has no reason to be embarrassed and she seems to have some sort of complex or hang up on the issue.

    I wouldn't just get any job. I'd get a job IN YOUR FIELD. Work in music while you study music. ESPECIALLY if you're playing an instrument, you can get paid for odd-ball jobs at all sorts of places. Put yourself out there. Piano bars are a BIG deal now-a-days, you can be a side-cast-member just playing the occasional night for cash. You can go to fancier bars with a harp or violin and ask them to allow you to play for an hour or two for tips.. OR you can get a cheap entrance to a wedding gig. People would pay you easily $50-200 for you to play at the entrance of the wedding for them--while they're signing the guest book and everything like that and arriving. If you think you have a stuffy instrument and can't get gigs you're wrong. If you're into some cool medieval stuff, you can be like the bagpipe player in Asheville that say out there and played and attracted a crowd every time. I once in D.C. saw a guy on the cello taking requests of songs and playing them. An interesting instrument from an orchestra does pretty well on the streets in comparison to just a guitar. You gotta know where to draw in the crowds, but it's not hard to figure it out.

    If music is what you want to do, DO it, but DIVE into it. Don't toy with it in school and not build it into the rest of your life. Volunteer at the orchestra/theater in your area. Teach music lessons informally to students. Sign up as a music substitute teacher. Do ALL the things. My aunt is a great musician, and the only person I know that can play one of those HUGE 7-bazillion-keyboard organs. She also has done oddball jobs on the side forever and ever. It's the nature of the beast. Embrace it.

    I can understand being upset if you're studying music.. but not pursuing it too. If you're at starbucks, hanging out in your late 20s early 30s, going to school, hanging with your friends on the weekends.. don't also be living with your mom, and paying pitiful amounts of rent, and using her insurance and stuff. Ya know? If you want to be in a symphony orchestra, you need to be practicing for that and auditioning for it constantly. You need to be willing to get up and go to where those things are. Music won't come to you.. it's an art. You have to go to it.

    You need to prove to your mother not only is music viable as a career, but important. You cant do that when you don't involve it into all of your life.
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