Building Your Network: The First Step to Success in a Music Industry Career

Since you were little, your dream has been to have a job in the music industry. You wanted to fly in jets, discover artists, work at labels and leave your mark. But then you grew up and met the music industry of the real world. You discovered the job market in the music industry is perhaps one of the most unforgiving ones out there. Very few companies hire in advance and practically every internship is unpaid. It seemed to get a job in this business you either had to have some major connections or have a work ethic that is simply out of this world.

And you are right. In the music industry, people don’t get jobs – the good ones anyways – by submitting their resume alone. They network to get their foot in the door, then work to make themselves indispensable to that company. So your first step for making some progress in your music industry career should be to build your base network of contacts.

Why It’s Beneficial to Have a Wide Base Network

All aspects of the music world work together, so it should be a goal of yours to make friends in every niche of the industry – from those with radio station jobs to the finance director of your local symphony orchestra. How wide your network gets will depend on how innately social you are, but even if you have just a few contacts here and there it can make a big difference. Having a broad base network will not only help you start navigating the areas of most interest to you, but those contacts will be useful down the road when you need assistance or collaboration in your job. What you ultimately want to get out of your network is a base of contacts that will think of you when an open position comes across their desk, and that you can use as a reference when you find an open position in their industry.

Start With Informational Interviews

One easy way to start building your network – particularly when you are just starting out or are unemployed – is through informational interviews. Pick a couple of target companies and reach out about having an informational interview with mid- to lower-level employees (they’ll be the easiest to get meetings with, and will have the most relevant insights for your current job level). Once you’ve got one scheduled, prepare at least ten questions that show you understand their business and want to know more. Do not jump in and ask how to get a job or if they know of any open jobs – unless they bring it up first. Instead, keep your questions focused on their career path and you will get valuable insight that you can use in your own career development.

At the end of the interview, ask for one or two additional contacts for informational interviews. Come prepared with suggestions or companies you’re interested in, just in case the person you meet with answers with a “let me get back to you.” For example, if your first informational interview is at a label, ask for a contact with their distributor or at a management company for one of their artists. Before you know it, you’ll have a growing base of contacts and a better knowledge-base of the industry as well.

Let us help you get started with your list of target companies for informational interviews. Browse the numerous employers and open jobs we have listed on– we’ve got everything from music jobs in Atlanta to publishing jobs in Philadelphia .Whatever you do, just get moving…your network isn’t going to build itself!

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