Quit my Job? Is this a Dumb Idea?

nicksaiz65

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I think your crazy idea builds the worst of two resumes. With your hobby of music, you expect to out-compete people who focused on music for the past 10 years, where it was not just a hobby for them. They will have played with other symphonies and be moving up to a big city position. They'll have a college degree in music. Where do you expect to rank against qualifications like that?

Consider your other plan - to keep your day job, build up qualifications, and increase your salary. That seems more likely to succeed - and you already plan on getting a higher salary. I view this approach as building up your savings faster, with more certainty.

If you switch jobs every year, that will hurt your resume. Employers will think (1) you are going to leave your next job in 12 months and (2) you might have problems with co-workers that drive you to find another job. I would strongly discourage this.

When you look at junior software engineering jobs, do those require 2 years experience? That's my general impression, I could be wrong. I suggest you try and meet that minimum before looking for another job.
That’s true, my degree is in Computer Science, not music. I did take lessons the whole time and took several music classes, but I am not a pure music major. I thought that a STEM Degree was smarter to get than a music degree.

I actually did audition for an orchestra in the past as well, and got chosen as a substitute. I turned it down because it would mean quitting my job(you still have to be at the rehearsals during the day.)

However, I will say, preparing for that audition was a complete and utter nightmare :lol:

I couldn’t believe the volume(and difficulty) of music they wanted you to learn.

I had said this earlier in the thread, but yeah, likely makes more sense to just stick with the tech with remote and flexible hours. And just progress my music on the side for fun.
 
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BillyPilgrim

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What makes you think you will get the job? what is the exact position? what do you play?

I am musician and have to supplement my work (like most) with teaching and offhand gigs. You know the saying 'dont quit your day job' is normally aimed at us right? That and music is arguably the most competitive field period and unless you've got the goods and the know how then you ain't getting ****. Many of my friends who are older than I and very experienced, talented, seasoned musicians struggle to make ends meet. I bailed on my music degree my senior year of college since it is literally useless (aside from mus ed) and swapped to something different. You know how many performance majors and top tier musicians are broke on their ass?

Keep music as a hobby, see if takes off into something more and don't quit your day job, unless you really think you can be successful and are willing to be broke for an unknown amount of time.
FWIW, it's a lot less competitive than it used to be
 

nicksaiz65

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You should be making double your current salary pretty quickly if you're improving yourself and moving jobs. Stick with computers and do music for fun.
That would be dope. I’m sure it can be done as long as I continue to improve my skills. The main thing is, I’d like to make good money while having a nice work-life balance.

For instance, I saw a thread asking if you’d take a job for 90K remote or 120K in office. I’d take the 90K job in a heartbeat!
 

nicksaiz65

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I think what you will find out is how good you think you have to be to be in a professional orchestra and how good you actually have to be to be in a professional orchestra are likely two different things and likely far apart from each other.

In other words, I am willing to bet you are greatly underestimating how good you need to be to be in a professional orchestra.

Not much different from people who write code in their spare time thinking they are able to be a professional software engineer...the two are usually pretty far apart in terms of how good a person thinks they need to be versus how good they actually need to be.

If you want to try it go ahead...but I think you will find out the people playing and practicing 24/7 like their lives depended on it are going to be significantly ahead of you.
Yeah, I’ve done an audition like this in the past to be a substitute. All I will say is, getting all that music ready was a complete and utter nightmare lol.

I actually found it more stressful than studying for my Security+ certification back in the day :lol:
 

nicksaiz65

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Because you're up against other candidates who chose to be dedicated and not take a year or two out. Many times when faced with multiple candidates very similar in experience, hiring managers take any little thing to weed you out. Unless you have a very niche tech skill that's in demand or have experience in a like-for-like sector or even better, a competitor of the company you're interviewing for, someone else will be chosen over you. It doesn't matter if you change jobs each year but you need to be making progress in the same field of work for it to look good to potential employers. There are some companies that value 3-4+ years in one company, not bouncing around, but that's a very dated outlook on the current employment market.

I've dealt with hiring managers for the last 10 years, a gap in employment, a gap year or whatever, a change of field, isn't a benefit and if offered, gets you a lower salary than if you hadn't done that. I'm not saying it's impossible to work out, it will just take you more attempts, time, and rejections to eventually secure the job/salary you're looking for.
Okay, that makes sense. I could see that.

Well, I don’t want to put myself at any disadvantage. The job market is rough enough as is.
 

nicksaiz65

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As someone who has played in a rock band from the age of 15... I will say that your social life will NOT suffer if you are playing in front of people a few times a week especially on weekends. Quite the contrary.
That’s true, I think I could have clarified on this a little bit. The issue was, when I did play in a band, my game friends would organize these super fun trips and I could never go on them. I felt like I never had that freedom.

Doing music for fun over the last year instead of that, has been amazing. I’ve progressed on my instrument but still feel like I can do whatever I want tbh
 

Stanley

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FWIW, it's a lot less competitive than it used to be
In some aspects yes, in others no. Fortunately with the tools we have at our disposal now you can make music and market yourself without needing a label or stepping foot in a commercial studio. God bless the internet
 

Murk

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Im just worried that when I job hop, I might not be able to work that super flexible schedule, or I might have to be in the dang office all the time.

There’s also the question of if it’s worth it to give up remote work to make substantially more money, but that’s probably a separate thread.
These days most IT jobs are at least hybrid with 2-3 days a week from home, if not fully remote. You will be able to find work-life balance.
 

nicksaiz65

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The best thing you can do is keeping your software engineering job. It is good that you're realizing this as well. Remember how difficult it was for you to get your STEM degree.

You could do session musician work and wedding/parties if you wanted, but you've already done the musician at weddings/parties path and it had mixed results in your life. It did cut into your time to attract-seduce women.
You make a good point. Calling getting that degree difficult would be an understatement. Of course, knowing what I know now, there are definitely things I could’ve done to make it easier. Mainly not trying to take so many hours at once, breaking up the technical classes into different semesters, taking summer courses every term, and telling my advisor no when she tries to put me in three technical courses at once. But that’s a moot point because I got the degree and I’m employed. So goal achieved lol.

Yeah man, my logic on being so hell-bent with the music stuff was that I absolutely needed a side hustle to act as a shield from these corporate layoffs. But you’re right that it really did cut into my attraction-seduction efforts, made it harder to link with my wings etc. Plus, getting established as a session musician is a huge pain as well, all the networking, marketing etc.

Now that I’ve slept on this, I realized that I have achieved the goals that I set for myself with music. I’ve done solo stuff, played in orchestra basically my whole life, and did studio work. So all of those goals have been hit.

As you all have been saying, the best path might just be to play for fun. I can practice as much or as little as I want, and plus I can put all of my professional mental energy towards excelling at my CS career(which gives me the means to do the things that I want to do.)

In that case, the best shield against these massive corporate layoffs is just a HUGE emergency fund that lasts for years.
 

nicksaiz65

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OP, would playing the same classical music night in and night out really be all that fulfilling? With your current job, you can approach music any way you want.

Edit - just read above post. But the point stands, there's limited artistic freedom in professional music.
That’s true. I realize that it would be an absolute grind as well.

Definitely leaning towards the playing for fun route. Even as a side hustle, music requires literally so much dedication to be a success.

I’m thinking it might be more fulfilling and practical to continue taking lessons, and just play for fun. Have CS be my main source of income(that way I can do my hours of work, plus whatever additional studying and then just close the laptop.) My protection against the mass layoffs would just be a huge emergency fund.

If I ever wanted to make more money than the top end of CS salaries, I could do the whole investing thing.
 

nicksaiz65

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Investing right now is a not a great idea. A lot of investment classes are getting slaughtered.
In that case, I’ll just be happy with budgeting correctly, eliminating debt, and making my CS salary for the time being :lol:

Nothing wrong with that.

By the way, believe it or not, when I was going super hard on the music(preparing for that sub audition) I did find it a bit harder to excel at my job. I was still working well and had no complaints, but it was a bit harder to focus because I felt like my bandwidth was split up.

This is what I’m referring to when I say it’d be nice to do whatever normal work + whatever work I need to do to advance my career like certifications and then close the laptop and do whatever.
 

Murk

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I say just grind everything out while you're still young and have the energy. I used to commute 4 hours a day at one point, I was on autopilot for 2 years. My previous job I'd be in the office 7:30am and leave at 6:30pm, it was an 8:30am-6pm job. I got an edge over my competitors, stacked up my money and set up my own firm without any loans or debt. Sacrifices have to be made, money haffi mek. Today I haven't done any work, in fact I booked a vacation and did some housework.

Put the hours in now you will be 30 before you know it and be way ahead of the game.
 

nicksaiz65

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What makes you think you will get the job? what is the exact position? what do you play?

I am musician and have to supplement my work (like most) with teaching and offhand gigs. You know the saying 'dont quit your day job' is normally aimed at us right? That and music is arguably the most competitive field period and unless you've got the goods and the know how then you ain't getting ****. Many of my friends who are older than I and very experienced, talented, seasoned musicians struggle to make ends meet. I bailed on my music degree my senior year of college since it is literally useless (aside from mus ed) and swapped to something different. You know how many performance majors and top tier musicians are broke on their ass?

Keep music as a hobby, see if takes off into something more and don't quit your day job, unless you really think you can be successful and are willing to be broke for an unknown amount of time.
Yeah, full time musicians definitely need multiple streams of income.

Dang, sorry to hear that they’re struggling. Were you a performance major yourself before you switched?

I don’t think I’m willing to be broke like that, now that you type it out.

I did want to share an interesting story that my teacher was telling me as well. He was sharing how difficult it was as a full time musician and how stressful these auditions could be. He said you’d barely be making 20K a year, and you’d spend basically all your savings to fly down and take an audition. Stay in the cheapest hotel you could, and take a cab down to the audition because you can’t afford a rental. And then all it takes is for your finger to slip once, and that ends the whole audition.

So yeah, reading the replies I think I’m pretty happy where I’m at.
 

nicksaiz65

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I say just grind everything out while you're still young and have the energy. I used to commute 4 hours a day at one point, I was on autopilot for 2 years. My previous job I'd be in the office 7:30am and leave at 6:30pm, it was an 8:30am-6pm job. I got an edge over my competitors, stacked up my money and set up my own firm without any loans or debt. Sacrifices have to be made, money haffi mek. Today I haven't done any work, in fact I booked a vacation and did some housework.

Put the hours in now you will be 30 before you know it and be way ahead of the game.
That’s the plan, broski!

I’m actually scheduled to have my annual performance review next Wednesday. I’m going to go for a slight pay bump, and see where I can go from there.

My next step is stacking out the certifications to have a fuego resume. I just found out in a meeting yesterday, but not only will my company pay for my certs, they also have some hours I can charge to study for them on the clock.

Literally getting paid to study. It’d be silly to not take that opportunity!

I’m also going to start preparing for interviews again so I can keep my options open as needed.
 

nicksaiz65

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These days most IT jobs are at least hybrid with 2-3 days a week from home, if not fully remote. You will be able to find work-life balance.
That is a freaking relief, man.

It seems to be the FAANGs who are really pushing RTO from what I’ve read.
 

Stanley

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Yeah, full time musicians definitely need multiple streams of income.

Dang, sorry to hear that they’re struggling. Were you a performance major yourself before you switched?

I don’t think I’m willing to be broke like that, now that you type it out.

I did want to share an interesting story that my teacher was telling me as well. He was sharing how difficult it was as a full time musician and how stressful these auditions could be. He said you’d barely be making 20K a year, and you’d spend basically all your savings to fly down and take an audition. Stay in the cheapest hotel you could, and take a cab down to the audition because you can’t afford a rental. And then all it takes is for your finger to slip once, and that ends the whole audition.

So yeah, reading the replies I think I’m pretty happy where I’m at.
My major in music swapped numerous times as I transferred from community college, to state school, to a full ride at a private school. My music scholarships dictated my degree and then when covid hit they laid off the majority of music departments (including mine) so I had to tap dance. Eventually I just dropped the major all together (and received backlash from the department for doing so) and focused on my completely unrelated major.

Unless you thrive under uncertainty then making a career out of music is very stressing and is a significant challenge. You need to diversify your skillset's and understand ways to gain multiple sources of income. I teach privately, at a studio, play gigs, work live sound, tune pianos and do freelance demo work and on occasion a incredibly rare session. I also flip guitar gear and pay close attention to that market.

I've been fortunate to become close friends with several professors and some real notable jazz cats. During covid we would do work together over zoom and use an online DAW called soundtrap. Nearly every musician I know took a tremendous hit during covid since the primary means of making money were decimated. Teaching online became a thing, but it sucks for both the teacher and the student.
Players that have been alongside grammy winners and play in world class touring bands were suddenly put on hold. The only good thing to come of the pandemic for artists was they had time to make new music, but were limited in doing so.

A friend of mine is a former Juilliard graduate, he could not land a job playing with any notable ensembles and actually have income. He tried teaching for about a year then bailed, since you either need to be very savvy and run your own business or take a hit and teach at a school and make jack. He know works in sales, despite being able to shred paganini. I have many musician friends that are exceptionally skilled and talented who make little to no money, it is the way it is.
 

FlirtLife

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Now that you've reached a decision on the main question, I thought I'd pick this tangent up (in your reply to @Murk , not me)

However, as a brief side tangent, I do think the corporate logic of a gap year making an employee undesirable is very flawed. If I can pass your interview and show that I’m up to date with the current technology and can do the job well, why does it matter if I have a gap or not?
Does "pass your interview" and "can do the job well" assume interviews are a flawless process that perfectly captures your skills and learning?

In my experience interviews are neither flawless nor have perfect accuracy. Imagine you're taking a test, and one of the questions is "pick a letter". You might be shocked the test doesn't have a definite, correct answer... but that sometimes happens in interviews. For reasons that are somewhat random, you might not pass the interview. Or maybe you "can do the job well", but the interviewer can't figure out if your interview answers are better than other candidates'. A lot can happen in interviews, so keep that in mind when you're thinking about pushing the limits while relying on your skills and experience to pass the interview.
 
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