The career that I am most interested in is a music journalist. It belongs in the Writing category and is closely related to the careers music critic, music analyst and reporter. The definition of this career choice is writers and reporters that focus their research on the music industry. Most are freelance writers who make money by writing reviews on albums and concerts for music publications or record labels, or write about shows and performances.
A lot of their information is opinion-based material as music journalists are usually very well educated in the music business and industry. For that reason, they can provide unbiased opinions and information on new artists or releases. Some interview new artists or write essays on the music business and industry as a whole. Several music journalists write for music websites or magazines. Others run their own personal publication that focuses on music reviews and other music industry related information that caters to music enthusiasts.
This career is desirable because it combines writing and music into one job. It also allows those in the career to move around and isn’t a desk job. Some skills that I already have that will aide my success in this career include being a good listener and being able to work independently. I also write well and have thick skin to handle the criticism that comes with being a journalist. I can handle staying up late and waking up early in the morning which is necessary for success in this career choice. Many music journalist do not work in offices and are freelancers. They can write from home and often go to concerts and conduct interviews to write their articles or reviews.
A college degree or any formal certification is not necessary but is strongly suggested for better pay and advancement in the field. Some useful degrees include B.A.’s in Journalism, English or Communications. It is a good idea to minor or concentrate on music to learn as much as possible about music. Writing experience is absolutely necessary in this career choice. If a B.A. is not affordable, student loans may be required to complete this educational path. However once again, a college degree is not required to become a music journalist. Experience is always helpful and the majority of music journalists get experience in the field by working as an apprentice or intern in a record company or local publication. They usually spend a lot of their college career interning for several publications and taking writing opportunities anywhere they can get them. To build a portfolio and eventually get a job with a paying company, many music journalists work for free. Several find regular work freelancing for several different outlets.
A typical day in the life of a music journalist involves a large amount of time spent in front of a computer, researching and writing articles and reviews. Sometimes they attend record release parties and concerts as research. Most work an 8 to 5 workday but it can go longer. It is a job that focuses on popular things in society so one of the first things a music journalist does in the morning is check the Internet to see what is happening in the world. They must excel at listening and writing to thrive in this career. The skills they must possess include being able to work under pressure and being self driven. They must be persuasive and develop and maintain a professional and trustworthy reputation to be successful as a music journalist.
A challenge they might face would be dealing with unpleasant musicians and other people in the music industry. A music journalist could also have problems with security and not be allowed backstage to interview a musician, even when they have to have a story. Those who have a reputation of giving bad reviews might face challenges as well. Although musicians want an honest review of their work, if a music journalist is known for writing bad reviews, they are less likely to get work. A music journalist communicates with their boss, musicians’ managers, and musicians.
This career is specifically related to music because writers and reporters focus their career and research on the music industry. They report on music news, interview musicians, review albums and concerts, and write works of music criticism. This career also promotes music in the community by giving reviews on music.
This career can expanded by financial advancement as they gain experience, build their portfolio of clips or stories, and work for more prestigious institutions. They also can become editors and increase their rank. The average starting salary for a music journalist is about $43,000 per year, however salaries are variable, as some journalists will work freelance. Therefore their salaries depend on the number of jobs available in a year and how much they pay. When a journalist is experienced and writing for large publications on a national basis, their salary can increase up to almost 80,000 a year. The salary for journalists really depends on how well known they are in the industry as well as who is willing to pay for their work.
This career is a good fit for me because they pros outweigh the cons. I would have the opportunity to work from home, there is very little public speaking involved, I could work closely with musicians and ask them questions that I have always wanted the answers to. I would be able to write, which I already love to do, about something I enjoy, and I could get invitations to afterparties, guest lists, and backstage.
The cons are that it has an unsteady pay and I would work long hours. The job also requires a social nature, which I do not have and being able to meet quick deadlines, which is not always possible for me. Also, those who work as freelance writers often work contractually for several publications, and are technically self employed, or not a full time employee to one specific company. As a result, freelance writers often do not receive medical insurance or vacation time from an employer and have to buy their own insurance. I need a job that comes with medical insurance and vacation time.