Digital DJ Tips reader DP writes: “I feel as if I am coming to a crossroads. I am beginning a new job, and it pays well, meaning I can finally get out on my own, as in being an adult: buying the house, new car, being independent completely.
“However, DJing feels like my passion, and music as a whole is what I could see myself doing until my last days. Artistry and expression are important to me. But of course, if I want to DJ as a career, I need to get my equipment, and I know that can be expensive.
“I am having difficulty deciding whether or not I want this ‘young adult freedom’, versus my freedom regarding my passion. How should I go about choosing which to tackle first, and not waste any time?”
Digital DJ Tips says:
It’s a really common problem DP, and while I can’t offer any solutions, I can give you some things to think about.
DJing as a full-time job is hard. You’d possibly be better off taking work that interests you (hopefully), and having DJing as a serious hobby. That’s what I did (music journalism was my “real” job), and when the DJing took over, I just stopped the day job. Note in my case the job was “linked” to DJing: That’t the ideal kind of job for a DJ. Roll on 25 years, and you can see that as editor of Digital DJ Tips, both roles are still serving me richly!
Secondly, “following your passions” is rarely enough. You need goals in your DJing – the equivalents of the “house, car, independence” goals in your “day job”. Otherwise I guarantee it’ll be your DJing, not your day job, that suffers. As Terry Pratchett said:
“If you trust in yourself, and believe in your dreams, and follow your star… you’ll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and who weren’t so lazy.”
Of course, I’m not saying you’ll be lazy, but you should plan your DJing as carefully as you plan your career if you want to get somewhere with it, because juggling both is also hard.
However, one problem with answering questions like this is that you can fall into the trap of offering advice along the lines of “this is how I did it”. So rather than leave it there, I’d like to open this one up to the readers and see if they can share their own experiences with you.
So, over to you! Did you face this kind of crossroads at the start of your working life? Any advice you can offer to DP? Please share in the comments…