Life Update

Hey guys. I know it’s been awhile since I posted something here. That is because I have had a lot going on in my personal life. So, I thought it was time for a life update for you all.

While I do not make any money from blogging (some bloggers do), I still love sharing tips and tricks with you all. I also like being able to give you small glimpses into my life offline.

Killer Harmony | Life Update | Grey background with maroon text "Life Update" and teal text "About Me"

In today’s post, I am going to do a bit of the latter. I have some news to share, and I want to share my thoughts on the future of this blog. Don’t worry; I don’t plan to quit blogging anytime soon.

My New Job

I got a new, full time job! It took a few months of on and off job searching and about a dozen interviews, but I did it. At the beginning of this month, I accepted an offer to work as a teller for a local bank.

It may not be a music or writing job, but I have been enjoying it so far, and I think it fits my strengths and skills. I have always been good at mental math, and I am also very meticulous and detail-oriented.

I started last Monday, so I have officially completed a week of training, and I still have another week of training this week. These two weeks are at a different, busier branch than where I will be working. Then, next week, I get to go to the branch where I was hired.

Now, some of you might be curious about the bank I work for. For privacy reasons, and to stay in compliance with the company social media policy, I will not be stating the name of my employer.

*NOTE: The views and opinions in this post do not represent those of the bank for which I work.

Future Posts

With my full time job, I do have less time to dedicate to blogging, so I think I will stick to one post per week. If I have time to write a second post, then I will. I definitely don’t want to limit myself to one post a week.

However, I also need to have time to do other things, like cook myself some food and practice flute, and just be a twenty-something. Another change I am considering is adding some posts here and there that relate to my new found career path.

I am thinking about writing posts on applying for jobs (part time and full time), the interview process, and then maybe a few posts about the basics of my job.

Since blogging is not my job, I don’t feel bound to stick to one niche or subject. I have the freedom to write about what I choose. Blogging is something I do for fun, one day it might be for profit, but that is not the case right now.

I also want to use that freedom of a personal blog to appeal to a wider audience. You may not be interested in everything I post, but I want to have a little something for everyone.

That’s what blogging should be about, right?

I Still Love Music

I am still playing in a local flute choir, and I take private lessons when I can. Music is what I studied in college, and I want to maintain the skills I achieved.

Flute and piccolo will always be a part of my life; I have no doubts about that. Since I do have a job in another field (which I love), music has taken a slight back seat. I can’t get in much practice except for evenings and weekends.

I think that has been hard. As a music major, the bulk of my day was spent practicing alone or with others. That is not the case anymore. Music is still a huge passion of mine, and I want to keep that passion alive as best as I can.

Changing My Diet (Slowly)

This may or may not interest you, but since I have been out of the dorms, I have slowly changed my eating habits. In college, I was subject to what food was in the caf. If I didn’t find anything, I would have to order in or eat from the vending machines.

Now that I am back at home and have access to a kitchen, I have become more mindful of what I am eating. I meal prep my lunches for the week. I try to find healthier alternatives for snacks. Small changes have made me want to make bigger changes.

I have also started to limit my consumption of animal products. I already don’t eat any red meat or fish. Milk products and eggs don’t really appeal to me on their own. When I do consume animal products, I try to be more mindful of what I am putting into my body.

It’s the little things.

So…

I know this post is a bit out of the ordinary. I normally write more informative content. But, I wanted to share a life update with what has been happening and why there was no new post last week.

With these changes, I will be blogging a little less frequently. For more regular updates and content, follow me on my other social media accounts.

Facebook: Killer Harmony

Twitter: @HannahHaefele

Instagram: @killerharmony

Is Blogging My Career?

Now that I have been out of college for a few years (excuse me…months), it is time for me to start my career. I have kept up with this blog and have increased my posting frequency, because I have had more time.

I have contemplated blogging for a living, and I have searched for jobs and clients. It has been hard, and I would love a career in digital media. However, I need to be realistic. I need to find a way to make money and to start my career sooner rather than later.

Killer Harmony | Is Blogging My Career? | Graduating college has made me really think about what I want out of my career. Is blogging for me? Is music for me? Here are my thoughts.

In a way, it does feel like I have given up on a dream. Two dreams: blogging and music.

But I like to look at it as finding a new dream. A dream that involves what I love about blogging and playing music, but not in those fields.

I love working with people and communicating with others. Working with the public is stressful, but I do enjoy it. If I were to hole myself up at home or in some other office box, I wouldn’t be happy. That’s why I love performing; I get to be in front of people and to entertain them.

The skills I have learned from my music degree and from this blog will transfer with me no matter where I end up. There are so many transferable skills in music, I even wrote a blog post about it. So I won’t list those skills here.

Related: Transferable skills for musicians

What now?

This does not mean that I am going to quit blogging or quit playing music. We all need things to do in our off time, and I love having multiple things that fit that need. It means that if I don’t feel like playing flute one day, I can write a blog post.

If I don’t want to write a blog post, I can play some music.

I am still extremely happy with my decision to major in flute performance. It will not lead me directly to any sort of full time job, but that’s okay. I love being able to use this blog as a way to communicate other skills that I have.

I can write and edit written content. I can create basic graphic images and can create templates for them.  Blogging allows me to create content to educate people all over the world. I can speak to a bigger audience.

The point is that I don’t plan on quitting any time soon, but it will probably become a hobby or a side gig.

A new dream

I have had to think long and hard about what I want to do now, and I don’t even know if I should publish this post. What I do know is that I want to work with others and to help or entertain people in some way.

I love being able to make someone’s day, either by playing flute or simply complimenting them. It could be as small as helping a customer finish their errand a little bit faster.

I know it sounds general, but working with people, and also with technology, is what I really enjoy. Yes, I am introverted, but I work well with others one on one or in small groups. That comes from my experiences in music school.

So while I may not be able to pick out a single dream job, I do know what I want to do and how I work best.

I want you reading this to know that it is okay for dreams and plans to change. We can’t plan for this kind of thing.

Keeping up with me

I do plan to continue blogging about music, but I want to include more content that is relevant to amateur and semi-pro musicians. Music is a tough industry, and it can be a smart choice to keep music as a fun thing.

Please take a look through the archives and if you have any questions that I haven’t answered, comment below and I would love to write a blog post about it (music or career related, of course).

So…

I know this isn’t the type of post I normally write, but I wanted to write it so that if you feel this way, you can get some sense of okayness. It can be very hard to set your dreams aside, but sometimes it is necessary in order to have a better life.

Let me know what you think about dreams and choosing what to follow (or not). And don’t forget to subscribe for exclusive  music tips and tricks sent straight to your inbox!

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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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