Transferable Skills for Musicians

The ability to play music is amazing. It can open up a new method of expression, allow you to learn new and inspiring music, and a whole lot more. There are tons of transferable skills for musicians, too. The benefits of music are endless.

Killer Harmony | Transferable Skills for Musicians | There are so many skills to be gained from playing a musical instrument, and a lot of them are transferable. Here are 7 transferable skills for musicians.

It can seem like music should only be taken seriously if it is a career goal for you, and that’s not true. While career bound musicians do need to take their craft seriously, amateurs also benefit from disciplined study.

Many musicians go on to pursue careers in other fields, but they can use a lot of skills that they developed through music. From teamwork to time management, musicians of all levels are well rounded and prepared for almost anything.

Discipline

Possibly the biggest skill that musicians can transfer to other career fields as well as to other parts of life is discipline. The time and effort it takes to learn an instrument and get good at it is huge.

It is impossible to go from beginner to pro in a month. That discipline required for learning an instrument can be applied to tons of other things, such as keeping on track at work or sticking to a healthy diet.

Discipline is a very good skill to have no matter what career you choose, and music is the perfect way to become more disciplined.

Time Management

As a musician, you have to manage your time well. Even the professionals don’t have an endless amount of time to practice. You need to know what you need to work on and how to get that work done.

If you have a job outside of music, it can be hard to get as much practice time in, but time management will help. You can also use time management skills in other areas of your job and life, too.

Time management skills are beneficial to everyone, because you can spend more time on what matters and less time trying to complete a small task. If you only have half an hour to do something, you can prioritize and get more done in less time.

Related: Time Management for Musicians

Teamwork

A big part of music is playing and working with others. Yes, you can take private lessons, but bands, orchestras, and choirs are so much fun. You can meet other people and learn more repertoire than if you only played alone.

Joining a music group, though, requires that you work as part of a team. If one piece of the machine isn’t running smoothly, it can derail the whole train. The same is true for music groups.

You have to learn to fulfill your role in the group so that everyone can succeed. Even if you have other people playing your part, one wrong note can still be heard. And of course, teamwork is important in almost every job or professional situation.

Hand-Eye Coordination

Unless you are only a singer, you have probably had to learn a bit of hand-eye coordination. Reading music while also forming the correct hand position and getting the right fingerings is difficult.

However, hand-eye coordination can be used in other parts of your life. Even a task as simple as driving requires a good relationship between your hands and eyes. If your work is very physical, then hand-eye coordination is imperative.

Sight reading is especially helpful in developing the skill of hand-eye coordination. You have to be able to look ahead, and your fingers need to react appropriately.

Marketing

This skill applies more to those who have studied music a bit more seriously, but anyone can still learn from it. If you are part of a group that is putting on a concert or you are giving your own recital, you will usually have to help spread the word.

While word of mouth is only one form of marketing it is powerful, and you can also use social media to share more about your upcoming performance.

You certainly won’t learn as much about marketing as a marketing student, but the basic principles can be applied to a lot of business minded jobs and careers.

Communication

Whether it’s with an orchestra director, a private teacher, or another musician, you will have to communicate. If you are a section leader, you will have to be a resource to the people in your section. You might have to coordinate sectionals.

If you need to cancel a lesson, you should be able to contact your teacher to let them know. Same with rehearsals. Communicating with those around you is vital to your success as a musician and as a person.

Music will teach you how to communicate in person, through email or text, and possibly by phone. You also get to communicate a composer’s thoughts and feelings during a performance. Good communication skills will take you far in life.

People Skills

This could fall under teamwork and communication, but I thought people skills needed its own section. In most careers and in daily life, you will have to interact with people. That includes people who come from a different background than you.

You have to be able to work with the people who are different from you. You might not always agree with everyone or like everyone, but you need to accept that. Professionalism and building a good relationship is more important.

One of my biggest regrets of this past year is ruining a possible relationship with another musician. I let one small thing that person did get to me, and my relationship with them and other musicians suffered. It made me so bitter, too. So, just be nice and learn to deal with people you may not get along with.

It’s difficult, but you will come across those people. Those people who you will butt heads with. Those people who make you feel like the bad guy. But you need to get over it and be the bigger person. That skill will get you places.

So…

Did I miss any transferable skills for musicians? Let me know in the comments! And don’t forget to sign up below so that you get exclusive music tips sent right to your inbox!

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Should You Pursue a Creative Career?

If you are majoring in the arts and humanities, you might be wondering if you made the right choice. After all, careers in the arts are hard to come by whereas STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) careers are increasing. While I can’t decide for you, there are some things to consider when pursuing a creative field.

Killer Harmony | Should You Pursue a Creative Career? | Pursuing a creative career is not for everyone. It takes work and dedication to your craft to be successful. Read more to decide if that is for you.

If you are majoring in a creative subject, odds are you are already passionate about it. Music, art, theatre and design are all majors that require some previous interest and skill. Creative careers are harder than “normal” jobs, though. You might have long hours, tight deadlines or be constantly on the road.

Creative jobs require different things than your typical job. That is why you should be certain creativity is the path for you. Here is how you can determine if being creative is your calling.

1. There’s Nothing You’d Rather Do.

If the only thing you can see yourself doing is your creative passion, go for it. For some people, deciding to be a musician, writer or artist is easy. It’s they only path they want to go down. Questioning your choice does not automatically mean you should not pursue it, though.

Knowing that your passion is what gets you up in the morning is a sure sign that you made the right choice. You’re not interested in a regular job, so you spend all of your free time working on your craft.

2. It Consumes Your Thoughts.

If all you ever think about is writing your next story or giving your next performance, you are destined for creating. The way to success in a creative field is that constant drive and passion that makes you work hard.

If your craft is all you ever think about, you can be sure that it is the only way you will be happy. This coincides with the first point, but if your art consumes you and your thoughts, it is worth a shot to make it your career.

3. You Love Being Challenged.

Most day jobs involve showing up at the same time each day to do the same thing. That’s not the case with creative jobs. Every day will be different. You will have a lot of work to do one day then maybe a chill day the next.

These creative jobs also involve challenges. You will probably have to keep looking for work on a regular basis, proving yourself over and over. If that doesn’t faze you, you can go into a creative career with an edge that not everyone will have.

4. A Normal Day Job Sounds Boring.

If you can’t bear the thought of working for the same old company day after day, year after year, a normal day job won’t make you happy. Most creative people need creative stimuli to avoid getting bored. While some jobs can be interesting, you won’t be fulfilled if you aren’t working on your craft.

A daily routine is nice for some people, but not everyone needs that structure. If you know that you would be bored in a day job or that it won’t make you happy, don’t force it. Being creative is a great thing, but it’s not always possible in a normal job. If being creative is what will make you happy, you should pursue that.

5. Happiness is more Important than Money.

I’m not going to say that you shouldn’t make money. We all need some money to live and survive. But, there comes a point where making a ton of money is not worth the unhappiness you have to face.

Most creative careers don’t lead to a rich lifestyle; the term starving artist is not just a term. Most creative people get past this, though, because their creative pursuit makes them immensely happy.

If you know that happiness is more important to you than a fat pay check, you should pursue your creativity as a career. You will thank yourself later.

So…

Do you want a career in the arts? What makes you do what you do? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter (@HannahHaefele)!

Thanks for reading!

Create a Career with Multiple Interests

If you have a ton of different interests, you might be struggling to decide what you want to do with your life. I totally understand, and I still have those days, too. Choosing what you want to do every day is tough.

We are lucky enough to live in a world where you can do just about anything to make money. More and more people are starting their own businesses or working from home. New jobs show up regularly. We are doing things that couldn’t be done even a decade ago.

Killer Harmony | Create a Career with Multiple Interests | If you have multiple interests, it can be hard to figure out how to make a career out of them. This post has tips for when you can't choose just one career.

This post is going to show you how you can do what you love as a career without having to choose just one thing.

Start a Business

If you have multiple interests that all fall into a similar category, consider a business. If you love art and teaching, maybe you could start an art studio where you teach people to do what you do. As a musician and writer, I would love to write about music in addition to playing and teaching.

Write a list of everything you like to do and see if any overlap. If you have some unique ideas, you could be really successful! Self employment is scary for some, but it could lead to a more fulfilling life.

Find Multiple Part Time Jobs

If you don’t want to be your own boss, working different part time jobs could be a good option. You can find a job or two that focus on your different interests. Maybe one job is as a graphic designer and the other is a customer service position.

This choice might also be for you if your favorite things don’t quite overlap enough to make for one career. With part time jobs, you will lose out on certain benefits of full time employees, but it is a way to keep up with what you love.

Make One a Hobby

If you have a dominant interest that overpowers others, make those less important ones hobbies. Yes, it can be hard to give up your dream of being a rock star, but if something is not super realistic, keep it as a hobby or side hustle.

When picking a career, some sacrifice needs to be made. If you really want the stability of a single full time job, you might have to give up one or more of your career goals.

It’s tough giving up on an idea or dream to pursue another, but it’s one of those tough choices we all have to make at some point.

Side Hustles are Your Friend

When you have different interests but don’t want to quit everything, try something as a side hustle. When I graduate, music will not be my full time career. I know that I will have to spend my free time working to improve my skills and make a career out of it.

If that sounds like you, side hustling while working a day job could be a temporary solution. You can make some cash off of your passion while still being able to pay the bills.

Be Flexible

At the start of your career, things won’t always go as planned. You have to be prepared for things to go wrong. Maybe your business doesn’t take off. Maybe you don’t land your dream job. Or maybe you have to move back home.

We live in a world where many things are possible, but we all have to start somewhere. Even if that’s your parents basement. Just know that everything that happens is meant to be.

So…

Do you have multiple interests? What are your tips for creating a career? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter (@HannahHaefele)!

Thanks for reading!

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Job or Internship?

In college, you are often asked about your plans for after graduation. Some people might even ask if you are working while in school. While both of those questions can make many college students cringe, they do give us something to think about. Should you have a job or internship? During college? After college?

Killer Harmony | Should you have a job or internship? It's a question that many students ask themselves. This post gives a quick overview on the difference.

I am fortunate enough to have a job while in college, and it is even on campus, so I don’t have to worry about leaving school to go to work. I am also lucky that my job is in an industry that I am interested in. It will give me experience to get a job I want after I graduate.

Two options for gaining that experience during and after college include a traditional job and an internship. So, which one is right for you?

A Traditional Job

Getting a traditional job is a great way to make some money. That is what most jobs are for, after all. The drawback that comes with a regular job, especially for college students and recent graduates, is that the jobs you qualify for aren’t always going to be relevant to your field of study.

Jobs can provide experience to harness certain skill sets that you might not have a chance to work on otherwise. If you end up with a job in retail or food service, you will learn a lot of customer service and people skills. Those jobs can also help improve your attention to detail, from folding shirts to handling money.

An Internship

Internships are a great way to learn about an industry that you want to work in, and you can even get class credit. The main problem with internships is that they are usually unpaid. You will be spending time working, but you will still need some other way of paying for expenses.

If you have a decent amount of money in savings or other financial assistance, an internship can be a smart thing to do. You can talk to your school about getting class credit, and it can go on your resume for when you apply to paying positions.

If you can’t afford to work and not get paid, an internship can just be a huge and unnecessary hassle. Your time is valuable, and you have to decide if an internship is worth it.

Overall

Taking on work is a big deal, especially if you are still in school. The big things to remember are that:

  • Traditional jobs are paid, but may not be relevant to your future career.
  • Internships are relevant to your career, but you still need to work somewhere to earn money.

If you are lucky enough to find a paid internship or to get a job in a field that interests you, take it. The money will help you pay for expenses, and the industry experience will set you above others when you apply for jobs in the future.

So…

This post was a bit shorter than my normal posts, but this week has been busy. I didn’t get to work on my blog as much as I wanted to, but I hope this post is helpful. Jobs and internships are both very appealing to students and recent graduates, but they are different.

Have you had a job or internship? What was your experience like? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter (@HannahHaefele)!

Thanks for reading!

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The Pros & Cons of Starting an Etsy Shop

When it comes to making money, people often look for easy options or get rich quick schemes. That is not what this post is about. It is about making money from home (or anywhere really) yes, but it is about starting an online business that has the potential to change your life. That is why you should consider starting an Etsy shop.

Killer Harmony | Pros & Cons of Starting an Etsy Shop | Starting an Etsy shop is a great way to make some money from home or even create a full time career. It's pretty flexible and cheap to set up.

If you like to create things, then starting an Etsy shop is a good way to make some money doing something you enjoy. If what you create can be sold as a digital download (such as photos or digital designs), the selling process is even easier, because you don’t have to worry about shipping.

In today’s post, I am going to talk about the pros and cons to starting an Etsy shop.

The Pros

It’s Easy

Starting an Etsy shop takes almost no time at all. You can create a free account, create your shop and list items within a few minutes. Just be sure to chose a shop name that you really love, because you can’t change it later.

It’s (Almost) Free

You don’t have to pay for anything when you create your shop. You do have to pay 20 cents for each item you list. Overall, there are no monthly fees for hosting a store on Etsy, which is great if you are low on cash. If you want to try out an Etsy shop and get 40 free listings, click here.

It’s Well Known

Etsy has a ton of built in support and fans to bring views and sales to your shop. People have heard of Etsy and know that it is a great place to shop for handmade items. This means that you won’t have to work as hard to get people to see your shop.

The Cons

It’s Work

It takes time to build your shop, fill it with listings and get paying customers. When you do get customers to your shop, you have to work even harder to push out orders. If you sell digital products, you won’t have to ship your items, but you will have to help customers who have questions about downloading and using your products.

It Costs Money

While it costs almost nothing to list an item on Etsy, you do have to pay for any supplies or programs you might need to create your products. You can’t start selling knitted scarves if you don’t have yarn. When you do sell an item, Etsy will take a small cut of the profits, so you have to account for that in your prices.

It Has Competitors

Since Etsy is a common place to sell products, that means you will find a ton of competition on there. You will have to find a way to make your products stand out from the competition. It is possible to have a lot of success on Etsy, but you can’t just set up shop and expect to make money.

Luckily, Etsy has a lot of information to help you learn how to be successful. They have a whole guide dedicated to selling on Etsy, you can join Etsy teams to get advice and share your work and you can subscribe to the Etsy Success newsletter. Etsy can be a great way to sell stuff online and make money, but you have to make it work for you.

Final Thoughts

Etsy is a great place to get started in the world of selling stuff online. You can even sell services on Etsy, too. I have yet to have a ton of success on there, but I haven’t been as active as I should be. When I start to have some success, I plan to write a post about successful selling on Etsy.

An Etsy shop is a great way to start a business from home. You don’t have to pay rent on a store front, listings are cheap or even free and the transaction fees are small. If you want to work from home, an Etsy shop is a great income stream to have.

If you want to see if an Etsy shop is for you completely free, you can use my link to get forty (40) free listings!

So…

Those are some pros and cons to starting an Etsy shop. If an online business is something that interests you, Etsy is a great way to test it out.

Have you started an Etsy shop? Did I miss any pros or cons? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter (@HannahHaefele)!

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