Bullshit Jobs Versus Real Jobs: What To Tell Someone Who Complains About Your Music Career

“Being a Musician Isn’t A Real Job”

“Why don’t you quit this music nonsense and get a real job?”

Just about every well-meaning parent, spouse or friend ever

Ever hear this from your loved ones and family? I’m sure you have at one time or another.

But here’s the thing – being a musical artist is a real job. Moreover, what most people would consider jobs with high social prestige and pay are actually bullshit jobs. I’ll explain why in the following paragraphs.

What Is A Bullshit Job?

How is a bullshit job defined? Simple: if that job ceased to exist, it would make zero difference in people’s lives. They create absolutely nothing of value.

Here’s a example – a stock trader: In essence, he makes a living betting on stocks going up or down. If he gains, his counterpart on the other side of the trade loses and vice versa. In other words – nothing new is created. Though no value is added to people’s lives in this profession, it’s considered glamorous and high prestige despite the fact that in reality, it’s a bullshit job.

The same can be said for other jobs with high social prestige and pay but make zero difference in people’s lives: corporate lawyers, most politicians, the entire marketing profession – all bullshit jobs.

Being A Musician IS A Real Job

In contrast, if you’re a talented musical artist, you can vastly improve people’s lives through your songs and your performances. The best musical artists can literally write the soundtrack to people’s lives.

Whether you have 3 million fans or just 3 fans (e.g., your dog and two goldfish), if they appreciate what you do, you can make their lives better. Therefore, what you do is a REAL job.

How do I know this?

Because I’ve been on both sides: I’m a lifelong musician but I also own a company in the financial sector of my country’s commercial capital, Toronto, Canada.

So if anyone ever tells you to quit music and get a “real” job, share this blog post with them. Hopefully it will straighten them out for you.

Supporting Independent Musicians

It’s for the reasons I described above that I go out of my way to support and promote independent musicians that I like. So I’m going to take this opportunity to give a shout out to a few of them who I follow on Instagram:

Here they are in alphabetical order:

Elyse Aeryn (@elyseaeryn): Happy, catchy country-inflected pop-music from Atlantic Canada

Sarah Brown (@sarahbrownworld): British singer with a beautifully melancholic voice and a wide vocal range. I performed a cover of her song “Fool For Love” on my IGTV feed. Unfortunately, I sounded like Mickey Mouse doing a Sarah Brown cover in a Disney movie. But Sarah, being the nice person that she is, has been generous with her praise of my performance.

Julia Carlucci (@thejuliacarlucci): A local Toronto girl with a beautiful voice and immaculately produced songs that are really memorable. If she was smart she’d marry her audio engineer – her songs really sound that good

Amanda Jordan (@amandajordanmusic): Another fellow Canadian with a pure-sounding singing voice who performs country music. She has a great song on Spotify called Driving in the Dark.

Nathalie Miranda (@nathaliemirandamusic): British singer with the spirit of Freddie Mercury apparently trapped in her body – this could be the only explanation for her powerful, soulful and ballsy vocals. I performed a cover of her song “Catch 22” on my IGTV feed and almost gave myself a hernia doing it. It was THAT difficult to sing!

Chrissy Pastore (@chrissypastoremusic): A very talented young American singer-songwriter who writes fantastic songs. Check out her song Diamond Tears – it’s really good!

Coco Scott (@thecocoscott): My friend Coco is a fellow Canadian trapped in California suffering the mild, balmy Californian weather. She writes, performs and self-produces her own brand of sweet adult-oriented pop music. She’s itching to get back into Canada so she can enjoy the Canadian winter (that’s a joke btw).

VËR (@thisisver): A hard-working Canadian singer and trained audio engineer who produces her own songs. Writes and sings urban pop music with a soulful and sultry voice.