Last month we talked about how to approach auditioning for a new opportunity. But what about once you have the job? How do you hold on to it?
Continue To Strive
Whether it is your part-time job at the mall or the best gig you ever landed, if you want to keep a job, you have to act like you want the job. Spoiler Alert: most bands do not play difficult music. While a night-after-night tour might have its challenges, for an accomplished musician, the playing of the music isn’t typically the hardest part. You have to work hard to keep yourself engaged and striving to be better. Set goals to hit notes more confidently, or to sing background vocal parts more in tune. Whatever will keep you captivated will keep you motivated.
When I started my current job, I had a particular song that was a challenge for me. Not each part individually, but both vocal harmonies and the guitar part together would take a little effort. So I set a goal: by the end of the tour, I would be singing the chorus all the way through. And it worked! Each night we played, I would systematically try for the next line or phrase and kept pushing myself to sing along until I had the whole thing.
What Got You Here
…keeping a gig is about allowing yourself to be open, transparent, and growing in relationship with the people around you.
Remember how we talked about being a person, not just a player? In many ways, keeping a gig is about allowing yourself to be open, transparent, and growing in relationship with the people around you. While your playing may have gotten you in, your ability to mesh with a group is of equal importance. And it could be argued that your personality and connection can potentially keep you employed in a situation longer than your abilities! A stellar player who isn’t easy to be around is likely the last person I want to call on, especially in a long-term scenario. Have you ever watched a band onstage and felt like they were having fun? That’s connectedness. You could see it in their leadership and in their performance. It reads from the audience as authenticity, and helps the listener feel connected to the band.
Set The Tone
Especially in a worship context, but even true in a secular one, the willingness to establish the tone for yourself will set you apart. The way you enter a room to the way you greet someone all help chart a course for the day. It can be challenging, but sometimes we must learn to set aside problems and concerns for the greater good of the environment. This is not about skill, but about the ability to control your mind, heart, and attitude. I don’t mean live in denial; if you had a flat tire that made you late, that’s reality! But it doesn’t have to derail your day or your relationship with others. Your ability to roll with changes might help someone else do the same in the process.
I think it should always be our goal as believers to represent Christ well. Striving to do your best, choosing to build relationships, and being a steady source of calm for people around you can all be part of living out your faith in a tangible way. While this simple article can’t offer a guarantee that you’ll keep a gig, I can assure you that doing these things will honor God and show respect to the people around you. As you look toward this Sunday (or your next gig), my challenge to you is to prepare yourself to do your best and show up ready to not only invest your time, effort, and talent, but also invest yourself in the people with whom you play.
It will pay off, I promise!