6 Career lessons from Filipino musicians with day jobs

An earlier version of this story first appeared on KalibrrVisit this page for more on the ups and downs of navigating your career.

These days, especially in the independent music scene, it is rare to come across a full-time musician. Most artists are phenomenal multitaskers; that skill is a given when one is expected to maintain a day job and forge a career path, while maintaining a passion for making and performing music at the same time.

We talked to some working musicians to find out how being a musician helps them with their day jobs, and here’s what we found out.

1. You learn how to be more attentive to details and feelings. 

Photo from Facebook/sirensph

“Being a musician . . . has taught me to be attentive to details and feelings. This value really affected my life in a lot of ways, [even with] my training in jiu-jitsu, in how I deal with my relationship etc.” – Josh Alipe, tattoo artist / vocalist of Sirens

2. You learn how to balance yourself out.

Photo by Dye Vargas

“For me, music . . . helps me create and mold what I need and want to feel in every time. It can cover and design all the banalities in my life. Suddenly every scene has a meaning. Every scene in my perception has more depth and emotion. [I] live my life the way I want to live it; not limited to “regular programming” or a 9-5 job.” – Dowell de los Reyes, HR director and project manager / vocalist of Diachroma

3. You breathe life into routine.

Photo by Sandy Dy

“While routine can be comfortable for some, it prohibits me from truly enjoying life. Music, in a nutshell, breathes life into an otherwise lifeless routine. It provides the color in an otherwise grey background. It’s the art in earth.” – Miguel Rabat, development manager / vocalist and guitarist of Progeny

4. You develop your work ethic, confidence and people skills.

Photo by Red Rivera

“My experience as a musician has helped me develop a level of confidence when dealing with people I work with. It also has helped me be more patient when things don’t turn out the way I want them to. The process of constantly learning and practicing has also helped me develop a more systematic way of doing tasks.” – Pao Bagaman, freelance video editor, producer, director, cinematographer / vocalist of D.S.O.

5. You learn how to get “in the zone.”

Photo by Angelu Cruz

“It’s inevitable to encounter boring or repetitive types of work, but with music somehow it gets you into that zone to finish your work with a breeze. It feels like you’re already jamming to it, especially while you’re typing or clicking. It makes work a lot easier for me.”  – Niko Ylaya, art director / guitarist of Curbside

6. You learn to innovate and create.

Photo from Facebook/kssael

“Through music, I learned about innovation and being creative in one’s craft. Innovation and creativity are vital in having your own business. You always have to possess an open mind, [while] at the same time, keep thinking of other ways to go about running your business.” – Enzo Cabayan, financial advisor / guitarist of Thieves and Wilderness

This article was written by Miao Olivar for Amplify.ph.

Amplify.ph is one of the leading communities for local independent music in the Philippines. Their thrust is to be LOUDER THAN SOUND: to showcase and support not only the music and the musicians of the Filipino independent scene, but the culture and communities surrounding it. Check them out here.

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