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  #1  
Old 12-04-2009, 11:27 PM
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Default Do you mention being a drummer on a day job interview?

My question is when looking for a new day job, do you ever bring up you being a drummer? Or the time you spent focused on the music business rather than being in your day job career?

All through my 20’s and early 30’s I only took day jobs that would still leave me enough time to be a band. I didn’t pursue many day jobs and promotions that came my way because I didn’t want anything that might get in the way of being available for gigs, and the jobs I did have were mostly sales in four different drum stores. And there are gaps where I had no day job and was living the starving musician life. I don’t regret it, I was this “-” close to taking it to the next level, but it just never happened for me.

So now, I’m done with chasing bands, or trying to make a career as drummer.
And while I have a great education (a bachelors in Finance, and 2nd bachelors equivalent in Accounting, working on the CPA exam) my resume is full of holes.

So while I can have the best resume writers in the world make what I have look good, there is no getting around the gaps where I had low level jobs or no job.

I did have one great job in the mortgage industry right before it collapsed; the guy who interviewed me was a frustrated guitar player, so we hit it off as musicians. But I only worked for a year and 1/2 before the whole industry fell apart.

I’m always hesitant to mention I was in bands for fear they’ll think I’m unreliable (stereotype of might leave if the right tour comes along), or won’t be able to focus on the job (like in the move Rockstar when Mark Wahlberg’s character goes to his office job, still wearing eyeliner from the night before, and using the excuse of he had a gig last night as to why he can’t get the copy machine to function, never mind I rarely, if ever gig these days).

And worse, I’m really hesitant to mention being a drummer for fear of all the drummer stereotypes out there (What did the drummer get on his IQ test? Drool….)

Not that I lie (I’m a terrible liar anyway, just ask my wife!), I just tend to leave out the details.

On my last interview, the holes became an issue I couldn't get around.

Anyhow, I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s had to pick up the pieces of a career after chasing music.

Anyone have some input on changing from a music oriented career to full time day job career?

When going for an interview, do you bring up time spent in bands?
Does being a drummer ever come up?

(Obviously, without the experience, I won't be jumping into anything high level, and I don't mind working my way up from the bottom, I'm more referring to getting in the door.)

Last edited by DrumEatDrum; 12-05-2009 at 12:52 AM.
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  #2  
Old 12-05-2009, 12:02 AM
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Default Re: Do you mention being a drummer on a day job interview?

It's been a few years since I was on a job interview, but my drumming situation was made known at the time and it was never an issue, and I was able to leave and return several times for tours. A very fortunate situation perhaps, and I had no problem balancing both careers.

But recreational/part-time drumming wouldn't be a problem for an employer as long as you do the job in the prescribed manner and during the prescribed hours. There are undoubtedly hundreds of thousands musicians who have successful day jobs, and also play music during evenings and weekends when many other musicians with regular jobs also happen to be available.

I think an employer might be more concerned about a prospective employee who has no outside hobbies or distractions. Employers like dedication, but they don't always like workaholics who have no life outside the office.

Bermuda
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  #3  
Old 12-05-2009, 12:39 AM
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Default Re: Do you mention being a drummer on a day job interview?

I may list it as a hobby if asked, and if you think it will be a problem down the line, like being late in the morning or hungover etc, be prepared for the consequences.
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  #4  
Old 12-05-2009, 01:06 AM
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Default Re: Do you mention being a drummer on a day job interview?

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Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
It's been a few years since I was on a job interview, but my drumming situation was made known at the time and it was never an issue, and I was able to leave and return several times for tours. A very fortunate situation perhaps, and I had no problem balancing both careers.

But recreational/part-time drumming wouldn't be a problem for an employer as long as you do the job in the prescribed manner and during the prescribed hours. There are undoubtedly hundreds of thousands musicians who have successful day jobs, and also play music during evenings and weekends when many other musicians with regular jobs also happen to be available.

I think an employer might be more concerned about a prospective employee who has no outside hobbies or distractions. Employers like dedication, but they don't always like workaholics who have no life outside the office.

Bermuda
I'd hope you would respond. :-)

I'm not sure how anyone finds a job that is willing to let them leave for tours, although obviously some people do. Although at this point, I'm not concerned with needing to leave, because I don't plan to.

Still, if you're looking at a job that is non-music related, do you put down "drummer for well known recording artist" (or something to that effect) on your resume?



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Originally Posted by GRUNTERSDAD View Post
I may list it as a hobby if asked, and if you think it will be a problem down the line, like being late in the morning or hungover etc, be prepared for the consequences.
Ah, I thought I made it clear, but I guess I didn't.

I'm not concerned with being late or hungover, because I'm not actually in any active band. I was more concerned with the perception that it would be an issue.

If I show up tired at this point, it's going to because my kids didn't sleep (do they ever?) not from a late night gig.
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  #5  
Old 12-05-2009, 01:26 AM
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Default Re: Do you mention being a drummer on a day job interview?

The situation below is the reaction tome explaining to my boss of one week why I am quitting my new job. I'd been offered a tour.

BOSS: "Had you told me you were a musician I never would've hired you!"
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  #6  
Old 12-05-2009, 01:31 AM
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Default Re: Do you mention being a drummer on a day job interview?

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Originally Posted by wy yung View Post
The situation below is the reaction tome explaining to my boss of one week why I am quitting my new job. I'd been offered a tour.

BOSS: "Had you told me you were a musician I never would've hired you!"
Eeekkkk......Now see, that is my concern!!!!!

Even though I don't have any plans to tour. I'd miss my kids too much to be gone for more than a couple of days.
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Old 12-05-2009, 01:36 AM
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Default Re: Do you mention being a drummer on a day job interview?

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Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum View Post
Eeekkkk......Now see, that is my concern!!!!!

.
Just keep it quiet. There's no need to mention it.

Good luck with the interview.
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  #8  
Old 12-05-2009, 02:03 AM
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Default Re: Do you mention being a drummer on a day job interview?

I'm with Wy on this one
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  #9  
Old 12-05-2009, 02:07 AM
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Default Re: Do you mention being a drummer on a day job interview?

Me too. If you're cornered I think it's better to explain gaps by saying you travelled than saying you're a muso. We have a certain reputation ...
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  #10  
Old 12-05-2009, 02:16 AM
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Default Re: Do you mention being a drummer on a day job interview?

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Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum View Post
I'm not sure how anyone finds a job that is willing to let them leave for tours, although obviously some people do. Although at this point, I'm not concerned with needing to leave, because I don't plan to. Still, if you're looking at a job that is non-music related, do you put down "drummer for well known recording artist" (or something to that effect) on your resume?
True about having that kind of freedom, it's not going to exist in very many non-entertainment companies, and is probably rare within the industry as well. I was priveleged to have my cake for 14 years in the form of a regular paycheck.

Funny you should mention it, but at the time I had my last job, I'd already recorded Al's 1st album. It wasn't out yet - there wasn't even a label - but in applying for the job I explained that I was his drummer (he also worked at the company) and that when things took off, I'd probably be leaving. They said 'yeah, you be sure and let us know when you go on tour' (you big rockstar you, har har har.) Well, 7 months later, I did! But by that time, I'd moved up in the company a bit, and it was just a 4 week tour, so it was really just a leave of absence, and I returned to work afterward. Well, this went on several times over the course of 14 years until I finally decided I didn't want to go back. That was 1996, and I've been just playing drums ever since.

Bermuda
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  #11  
Old 12-05-2009, 03:39 AM
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Default Re: Do you mention being a drummer on a day job interview?

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Me too. If you're cornered I think it's better to explain gaps by saying you travelled than saying you're a muso. We have a certain reputation ...
Like driving cars into swimming pools? :-P
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Old 12-05-2009, 02:49 PM
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Default Re: Do you mention being a drummer on a day job interview?

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Like driving cars into swimming pools? :-P
Yep ... and hedonism and obsessiveness and unreliability (you should hear women talk about musos they've gone out with) and self-absorption and always being on the lookout for a scam or freebie ...

One time I quit a job to take time out to write music but I wanted a good reference. I told them I was leaving to go travelling. Kinda sad when you feel that saying you're leaving to travel is considered a logical rite of passage but leaving to write music would be considered frivolous. I guess, normal people understand the travel bug better than music bug.
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Old 12-05-2009, 04:14 PM
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Default Re: Do you mention being a drummer on a day job interview?

If holes in your CV become an issue, then confront them directly. You should always be honest in an interview. However, you can always interpret the gaps in your CV if you are asked rather than letting the interviewers interpret your gaps. For example, you can point out that you were committed to a music career (past tense) and therefore, only took low paying jobs so that you did not have to balance a white collar professional career with a music career. Here is where you point out that you were dedicated and did not want to short change someone who paid you to do accounting. You can also play up the skills you learnt as a musician such as working with diverse groups of people (e.g. people and interpersonal skills), creativity, team work, communication and professionalism. All these are important for a finance/accounting career.

Now that you are married, you can emphasize that your focus is now on your accounting profession, so now you want to put that same dedication you had towards drumming towards helping your company achieve its strategic and financial objectives. You also have the advantage of bringing in this different type of skill set that most bean counters do not usually have. Counting beans is easy; it is dealing with other people that some accountants do not do so well.

Good luck and keep drumming too.

GJS
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Old 12-05-2009, 05:18 PM
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Default Re: Do you mention being a drummer on a day job interview?

I've always disclosed my drumming to potential employers, never had huge gaps in employment like yourself, so I've never had to explain that, but at the same time, I feel as though the experience I've had as a musician is valid work experience that can be applied to day jobs. Booking gigs is sales and coordinating. Promotion is marketing. Fans are networking. Rehearsal is preparation. Sell interviewers on these aspects and destroy any misconceptions they may have about the stereotype.

I'm in your category of 20's and early 30's who's always looked for work that allows me the freedom to do my thing. I've passed up promotions and advancement to maintain this freedom, but also been very fortunate in finding work where my employers embraced my passion and have allowed me time off to tour, do press things, or simply duck out early on a Friday for an out of town gig. Mind you, I work in film and television, I'm not sure I'd see the same kind of support in an accounting firm.

Good luck!
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Old 12-05-2009, 09:57 PM
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Default Re: Do you mention being a drummer on a day job interview?

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Like driving cars into swimming pools? :-P
That never happened! It was a pond!
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  #16  
Old 12-05-2009, 10:20 PM
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Default Re: Do you mention being a drummer on a day job interview?

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Originally Posted by Skulmoski View Post
If holes in your CV become an issue, then confront them directly. You should always be honest in an interview. However, you can always interpret the gaps in your CV if you are asked rather than letting the interviewers interpret your gaps.
And as we get older, the perceived stability of age works in our favor as well. An employer is more likely to believe that a 50-year-old candidate will focus on a position, more than a 25-year-old who's trying to pursue music but says he can be dedicated to the job.

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Old 12-05-2009, 11:37 PM
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Default Re: Do you mention being a drummer on a day job interview?

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I think an employer might be more concerned about a prospective employee who has no outside hobbies or distractions. Employers like dedication, but they don't always like workaholics who have no life outside the office
Perhaps listing yourself as a hobbyist musician (who does gigs on the weekends) will work well, shows leadership that you can work in a team oriented environment.

Same goes with people that say that sport is hobby for them in their free time.

...but if your not sure (because it is not relevant) maybe you shouldn't mention it. Honesty is the best policy, you don't want to get in a sticky situation when your employer finds out some time after being employed that you're actually a weekend gigging musician.

Remember, employers are employing human beings, not matrix clones.
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Old 12-06-2009, 12:28 AM
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Default Re: Do you mention being a drummer on a day job interview?

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Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
And as we get older, the perceived stability of age works in our favor as well. An employer is more likely to believe that a 50-year-old candidate will focus on a position, more than a 25-year-old who's trying to pursue music but says he can be dedicated to the job.
Very true.

While honesty is the best policy as a rule, it isn't always. When there is a good chance that you'll encounter assumptions based on stereotypes which will result in discrimination, it's best to keep your cards close to your chest.

An example. A former partner who'd gone prematurely grey was always struggling to get jobs. I told him that if he dyed his hair and didn't disclose his age he'd do better but he refused, even though he looked youthful otherwise and could have passed for 10-15 years younger.

So the problem remained. Last time I saw him he was unemployed, broke and depressed. I'm sure he was suffering age-based discrimination and even though it's both illegal and unethical, it's also unproveable and, therefore, unenforceable.
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  #19  
Old 12-06-2009, 06:53 AM
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Default Re: Do you mention being a drummer on a day job interview?

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Originally Posted by Skulmoski View Post
If holes in your CV become an issue, then confront them directly. You should always be honest in an interview. However, you can always interpret the gaps in your CV if you are asked rather than letting the interviewers interpret your gaps. For example, you can point out that you were committed to a music career (past tense) and therefore, only took low paying jobs so that you did not have to balance a white collar professional career with a music career. Here is where you point out that you were dedicated and did not want to short change someone who paid you to do accounting. You can also play up the skills you learnt as a musician such as working with diverse groups of people (e.g. people and interpersonal skills), creativity, team work, communication and professionalism. All these are important for a finance/accounting career.

Now that you are married, you can emphasize that your focus is now on your accounting profession, so now you want to put that same dedication you had towards drumming towards helping your company achieve its strategic and financial objectives. You also have the advantage of bringing in this different type of skill set that most bean counters do not usually have. Counting beans is easy; it is dealing with other people that some accountants do not do so well.

Good luck and keep drumming too.

GJS
Solid advice. Thank you!
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Old 12-06-2009, 06:59 AM
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Default Re: Do you mention being a drummer on a day job interview?

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Originally Posted by jer View Post
I've always disclosed my drumming to potential employers, never had huge gaps in employment like yourself, so I've never had to explain that, but at the same time, I feel as though the experience I've had as a musician is valid work experience that can be applied to day jobs. Booking gigs is sales and coordinating. Promotion is marketing. Fans are networking. Rehearsal is preparation. Sell interviewers on these aspects and destroy any misconceptions they may have about the stereotype.

I'm in your category of 20's and early 30's who's always looked for work that allows me the freedom to do my thing. I've passed up promotions and advancement to maintain this freedom, but also been very fortunate in finding work where my employers embraced my passion and have allowed me time off to tour, do press things, or simply duck out early on a Friday for an out of town gig. Mind you, I work in film and television, I'm not sure I'd see the same kind of support in an accounting firm.

Good luck!
Nicely said. Because that is how I approached my band days.

Funny though, I did have one job for a film company, and they were the least embracing of them all! When were between films, they would still make us come in and sit at our desks for 8 hours even though we had NOTHING to do until the next film started. Drove me nuts!!
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  #21  
Old 12-06-2009, 07:11 AM
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Default Re: Do you mention being a drummer on a day job interview?

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Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
And as we get older, the perceived stability of age works in our favor as well. An employer is more likely to believe that a 50-year-old candidate will focus on a position, more than a 25-year-old who's trying to pursue music but says he can be dedicated to the job.

Bermuda
I hope you're right.

I just run into the perception because I'm not 25 I should have more on my resume than I do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BassDriver View Post
Remember, employers are employing human beings, not matrix clones.
Heh....I've had a few bosses who would have rather wished were just clones!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pollyanna View Post
Very true.

While honesty is the best policy as a rule, it isn't always. When there is a good chance that you'll encounter assumptions based on stereotypes which will result in discrimination, it's best to keep your cards close to your chest.
.
This tends to be my approach. But I think I may, at times, hold my cards too close, and thus why I made this thread.

But I love all the different responses to this thread. :-)
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  #22  
Old 12-06-2009, 02:52 PM
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Default Re: Do you mention being a drummer on a day job interview?

I think it's ok to tell people about your hobbies during a job interview if asked, but I can imagine it being dependent of what industry you work in. I am studying industrial design engineering, and am expected to be both intelligent and creative. I will get my master's degree in engineering in about a year and a half, maybe a little more, which proves my intelligence. Me having been an active musician during my time as a student (with a minor in Music) proves that I am creative. I am putting my hobby as drumming and my teaching work on my resumé for sure!
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  #23  
Old 12-07-2009, 02:32 AM
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Default Re: Do you mention being a drummer on a day job interview?

I used to never tell something like that in an interview, but if I have another one I will definatley tell them about it. It's alot of experience and i've done alot of things that are great examples as to why I'm a great worker. I found that as a band member you are actually doing alot of leadership/ownership of your own business. Especially if you've had any success you can point to. It might explain gaps in your resume, or why you worked part time jobs too.

I actually found out the GM at my last job was a drummer after working with him for 4 years, and we got really close and it helped me out. He was always on my side after that.

Anybody who is stupid enough to think that musicians are lazy or don't work is probably somebody you don't want to work for. I just had a 14 hour day yesterday driving too, from, setting up, tearing down, and playing a 4 hour gig.
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