What “full-time” looks like in the music industry

Most jobs are pretty clear cut: you get hired, perform duties outlined in your job description, work 40 hours a week and get a consistent paycheck. In the entertainment industry – particularly in the field of music – that model can vary drastically depending on your location, level of experience, skills and career path. The single “full-time” gig in the music industry sometimes only comes after years of temping, part-timing, interning, freelancing, or an exhausting combination of them all.

The key to getting plugged in to music jobs is being creative. You probably won’t be able to magically obtain your dream job with a high starting salary straight out of college or high school. But keeping your eyes open to opportunities that are a little untraditional will help pave the way for that full-time job later on.

An unfortunate fact of life is that you have to pay your bills. All the dreaming, passion and ideals in the world won’t cut a rent check for you. But don’t resign yourself to a monotonous office job or a dead-end hourly gig just to pay the bills when you don’t automatically get offered a record deal or your dream job as a radio producer. By rethinking your process, you can find a way to make ends meet without sacrificing your goals.

While music internships can provide very valuable experience, they are rarely paid. But if you find yourself with an offer for an internship that would benefit you in the long run, don’t immediately turn it down because of money. There are other ways to make money in the music business, and if that’s where your talents and passions lie, it only makes sense to take advantage of these available opportunities. For example, if you’re interested and knowledgeable in news, trends and figureheads in the music industry, consider taking on some freelance writing gigs. If you can establish your voice and maybe even a following through a personal music blog, there are plenty of publications – traditional and online – that would be willing to pay you for your work. Good at actually playing a musical instrument or singing? You can make a decent living teaching guitar or voice lessons. Have a solid understanding of social media or public relations? Music promotions may be the way to go – smaller labels often hire marketing personnel through limited engagements, often in the form of remote or part-time work.

In today’s music industry full-timers don’t always have an office and a salary, but they do make a living. By combining various gigs that are still in line with your ultimate goal, you can create your own form of music jobs. NYC, Chicago, and other major metro areas provide a myriad of opportunities to temp or freelance your way into full-time pay in the music industry.

Check out the open job listings on 4EntertainmentJobs.com to see what kind of opportunities await: from gigs at record labels to radio jobs, Los Angeles to Atlanta. Check them out today!

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