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Leave a Safe IT Job for Music Tour?

Cliff posted more than 10 years ago | from the should-he-stay-or-should-he-go dept.

Businesses 133

DecisionTime asks: "In this US economy, it took me a whole year to find my current IT job, where I've been for less than a year. It's fairly dull, but pays ok, and I believe it is relatively safe. Now, I've been given the chance to use my talents and tour full time with a band overseas. With the corresponding drop in expenses, my net income on this tour would remain about the same as now. However, music jobs are inherently risky, yet the touring could become long term. On the other hand, I could potentially be IT job searching again within four months with a dubious hole on my resume. I'm single and have no kids or major commitments, but I do not want to destroy my IT career either for the future. I can't get unbiased advice where I am, so perhaps Slashdot can lend me some wisdom?"

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Do what makes you happiest (5, Insightful)

JonnyRo88 (639703) | more than 10 years ago | (#8596009)

Seriously, nothing these days is certian job wise. Just do what makes you happy in the near term. Cheaper than therapy later.

Re:Do what makes you happiest (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8596140)

I'm with this advice. 4 months off an average job isn't going to ruin a career, the most it'll do is set things back to another year or so of job hunting. Decide you're going anyway, and talk it over with your employer. It could be that they're understanding and can rehire if all falls through - and if you're going anyway that's only a bonus on top of things. I wouldn't depend on that, but I'm all for not burning bridges.

Last thing anyone needs is to see their bandmates go on to become the next Stones or ABBA and be left behind in some lowlevel IT job

Re:Do what makes you happiest (4, Insightful)

cei (107343) | more than 10 years ago | (#8596847)

I agree with the "talk with your employer" part. If you're valuable to them, they might keep the door open for you. When I was in a band we only toured 3 times: twice for 4 weeks and once for 6 weeks -- not as long as what you're talking about, but certainly more than I had vaction time to cover. But because I'd been with the company for awhile, and they knew that they weren't going to find anyone immediately who knew all the ins and outs of their system, they let me take it as a "leave of absence" the first couple of times, and the last time (because there was a limit on the number of leaves one could take within a year) I resigned with the verbal agreement that they'd hire me back when I became available again.

So the upshot is, don't be afraid to communicate. You might have more options than you know.

Re:Do what makes you happiest (1)

Old Uncle Bill (574524) | more than 10 years ago | (#8601767)

But only communicate this intention if you are certain you want to do it. It could backfire and you will be touring whether you want to or not. I definitely agree with the above post, tho. Also, you only live once. Do it before you get sucked into IT hell for 30 years with little or nothing to look back on.

Re:Do what makes you happiest (1)

furchin (240685) | more than 10 years ago | (#8602209)

I dunno about you, but I'd rather be a lowly IT tech than be ABBA ;)

Good advice (2, Insightful)

quinkin (601839) | more than 10 years ago | (#8596154)

My grandmother gave me some advice many years ago that has always served me well:

"Find something you enjoy doing, and get someone to pay you to do it."

Easier said than done, but a worthwhile goal.


Re:Good advice (2, Insightful)

Mattcelt (454751) | more than 10 years ago | (#8597610)

Excellent advice. It goes along with the old adage, "if you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life".

I just auditioned for a position as an opening act for a nationally known artist. Believe me, if I get the gig, there is no way in hell I'm going to pass it up. So long as the bills are paid, DO IT!!

Oh, and keep in mind that money you earn outside the US is not taxable in some cases, so you might even see a net increase...

Re:Do what makes you happiest (1)

mikehoskins (177074) | more than 10 years ago | (#8596297)

Am I the only one who disagrees? I don't want to sound like a party pooper, but....

I think that you will have more short-term happiness doing this. However, I think that since the economy is bad, that you're better off, for now, sticking with IT and looking for long-term happiness. You said it best when you said it was inherently risky. Think "Tortoise and Hare."

You might find that employers don't want to re-hire you back to IT, later. Can you find a way to do IT while you're on the road, to keep up your skills and experience?

If you decide to go for it, you could take your IT with you, start up a consulting company, and do IT for the band and other side projects -- just be sure to actually get paid for it. I think you'd mitigate the risk of having a bad-looking resume, later.

On the road, setup the band's web site, run lights with Linux, program keyboards, program pyrotecnics, program video, setup databases for all sorts of stuff to track, and find every other way you can to run the band's IT/computers....

Maybe you could also work toward certification, a bachelors degree, or a masters degree in the mean time. Keep learning, programming, and performing systems administration work. Even running your own IT company is IT experience in and of itself.

You could also find a cause or two and donate your skills through this company.

I guess I'll toss in my 5 nickles here. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8596566)

I've done a lot of stuff and ultimately failed at nearly everything I've tried. And yet I only seem to regret the chances I didn't take.

mod parent up (1)

xilmaril (573709) | more than 10 years ago | (#8596762)

oh, to have not blown my mod points so cheapy. I feel the same way about my life.

Re:Do what makes you happiest (1)

clifyt (11768) | more than 10 years ago | (#8598255)

I agree with you in your disagreement :-)

Seriously, I've stuck it out in my Research / IT position for years and I've had a few gigs pop up that I've kicked myself for not taking...only to be vindicated later.

Anymore, I stick with Music Tech instead of actually playing, and just recently I was offered a music tech position with the opportunity to play as 'understudy' (not really sure what they call them in rawk) for a well known artist (multiple grammies...all that) for a 9 Month gig, including 2 months overseas. I had to turn it down -- even though it roughly paid 3x what I would at my university job because the university is stable and I had things to think about like House Payments and Student Loans and other such items that would still be there when I got back, while a job wouldn't be...and face it, regardless of how much you get paid, while on the road you are going to go nutty with the $$$.

As it stands, I do maybe one or two shows a month at most if friends are touring in the Midwest (anywhere within 7 hours driving from Indianapolis -- unless they want to fly me out for the weekend, which happens occasionally). Its not the rawkstar life, but then again, its fun (and actually pays a bit more than the average job). As ya say Mike, all the IT things listed ARE things the bands need and really have few folks that can do this...this is one of the reasons I've hooked up with so many acts as they need folks that can do this -- and at the same time not act like ignorant fanboys :-)

So yeah, my side business is an IT company that provides services to musicians. Its been there for a few causes over the years as well where we could do some good -- just last year, we put on a charity benefit with a *HUGE* soul artist and raised a quarter million dollars for breast cancer research (and convinced the artists to do the show for free). Not bad for a midwest show in the middle of someones horse ranch :-)

So yeah, do the music stuff, just don't get suckered into giving everything up. As I've mentioned, I have been vindicated in the past for not taking some 'sure thing' gigs -- year long world tours that are canceled a month into the gig with folks still asking for the pay for services already rendered -- let alone lost wages. I've seen that happen more than once. All I can say is if you go against this advice, find a *GOOD* industry lawyer that isn't connected to the bigger acts or that acts label...they WILL do whats necessary to protect their bigger investment and industry lawyers are known for not respecting bounds of conflicts. Make sure the contract is airtight and its not as if you can't get it ammended. I've had a few that were unnegotiable, and the $200 I spent to the laywer to make 3 or 4 changes is generally well worth the money (just look at him as if he were your manager -- without the 10% -- though from past experience, it ends up being about that much anyways).

Anywho...back to my day job that I love dearly :-) Check out my site -- its mostly music tech stuff, but there are a lot of 24/7 musicians there and they can offer suggestions as well...

Re:Do what makes you happiest (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 10 years ago | (#8600993)

But seriously, if you don't have a family to support, does it really matter? Better to be happy.

Re:Do what makes you happiest (4, Insightful)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 10 years ago | (#8596416)

Chalk another one up: Just do it.

If you're intelligent and hard-working, this will probably be a plus rather than a minus if/when it comes to hitting the career path later.

One way to think about it: You'll always think "what if?" if you don't, whereas if you do, you'll have some pretty cool experiences. Sounds like a no-brainer to me.

fr (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8596515)

first reply hahalolz flpoor lorf

Take the tour. (2, Interesting)

ObviousGuy (578567) | more than 10 years ago | (#8596011)

God knows IT sucks. Go have fun and gain some interesting experiences.

The computer world will always be around, but music careers are notoriously short. Take advantage of it while you can.

Re:Take the tour. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8598007)

Yes, go for it or you'll reget it for the rest of your life! Heck, you owe it to the World!

By the way, what is the address of the HR Department for your current company?

do it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8596021)

do it now. live your life. fuck your cube job.

a few things to check... (4, Informative)

Kulic (122255) | more than 10 years ago | (#8596032)

1. Can you get leave from your current job for the duration of your tour?
2. Can you do your IT job remotely (you didn't mention exactly what you do)?

Also, maybe you could go searching for IT work overseas? Not every economy is in the state the US is in, and overseas experience is always a plus. If you don't know if either proposition (music or IT) will work out, which one do you want more? Go with that.

Go for it. (5, Insightful)

Anaxagor (211917) | more than 10 years ago | (#8596044)

Go and see the world while you can, because let me tell you once wife + kids + career job come along, you won't be able to pursue any of those opportunities even if they do come along, and you don't want to get to 40 with nothing but regrets to show for it.

I speak from bitter experience here man.

Get out and enjoy your talents while you can.

Re:Go for it. (1)

Seraphim_72 (622457) | more than 10 years ago | (#8596585)


Re:Go for it. (3, Funny)

Glonoinha (587375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8598448)

Reminds me of a commercial I saw a while back.

Setup : Nursing home, two old geezers in their nightgowns in medical beds talking to each other.

OG1 : Ya 'member right after we won WWII?
OG2 : Yea Bob, that was great.
OG1 : Teehee - you remember right after that when we were in France at that bar?
OG2 : You mean when those three hot French nurses invited us back to there place?
OG1 : That's what I'm talking about!!!
OG2 : Yea Bob, I remember that.
OG1 : (sadly) We shoulda went.
OG2 : (sadly) Yea Bob, we shoulda went.

Re:Go for it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8599836)

Except they SHOULD NOT HAVE!

Frensh women have hairy armpits and smell.

Plus what if they had children by them? Just imagine having to tell people your son/daughter is half French! That would be so shameful!!

Re:Go for it. (1)

Glonoinha (587375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8601307)

Well these must have been the rare and highly valued PRE-NERF French women.

(As a rule of thumb, any time more than one woman wants to have sex with you at the same time - you pretty much have to go for it.)

Re:Go for it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8601934)

Just like George Carlin says: I never did a 10, but one night I did five 2's.

How old are you? (5, Insightful)

trentfoley (226635) | more than 10 years ago | (#8596048)

  • Under 20, Go back and live with your parents.
  • 21-30, Go have a blast. Make us all proud.
  • 31-40, Move out of your parents house. Go have a blast. We know you don't care if we are proud.
  • Over 40, Buy your parents house. Go have a blast. Why are you still asking permission?

I did a similar thing... (2, Interesting)

PhyrePhox (218873) | more than 10 years ago | (#8596055)

Just before the bust; I went to a performing arts center (with an inexperienced management staff) as "Master Sound Engineer" and by the time my patience ran out, my old CO was under a hiring freeze. Just the same, I think you should do it (but please send pictues and mix tapes). Seriously, do it. You know IT jobs can still be found; the market is in recovery (albeit slowly), but dream jobs only come by once in a while... Best of luck!

Sounds like fun (2, Insightful)

Syncdata (596941) | more than 10 years ago | (#8596059)

If the pay is the same, and you have no ties binding you down, think of this as a chance to see the country/world for a brief bit while still earning money.
It's not a hole in your resume, if you are doing similar work, and you have a few good stories to tell any potential interviewer who should inquire as to that period in your professional life.
Life is for living, but living takes money. If you can earn money, while making the most of your more valuable personal time, without suffering any loss of income in the near term, then why wouldn't you do it?

Re:Sounds like fun (2, Insightful)

Syncdata (596941) | more than 10 years ago | (#8596074)

Naturally, I read the lede as you working for a band on tour, not being a member of said band. Stereotypes are tough too shake I guess.
Nonetheless, I now double my suggestion to do it, if you believe in your skills. This could be a fork in the road to something more fulfilling then humping a 9-6. If I could make a living playing my bass, I'd be straight on it.
Remember the line about the road less travelled. It makes all the difference.

Music Industry (5, Insightful)

littlerubberfeet (453565) | more than 10 years ago | (#8596060)

Go for the band. You will regret not doing it. IT jobs will be there in some form for a while. Have fun.

I probably have one of the most stable jobs in the music industry. I write music for TV. Music is fun, and you always meet interesting people. You might even meet musicians who need IT skills. Or, if you are brave, set yourself up with a DAW, Protools or Digital Performer and mix your skills.

You are involved in two industries that are very unstable. Go for what you want. Have fun. It is not a black mark on your resume, it is an "enhancing experience".

You won't get this chance again. (4, Insightful)

Pyromage (19360) | more than 10 years ago | (#8596066)

In all likelyhood, you won't get this chance again. I say go for it.

You're not very likely at all to 'destroy your career'. You may go broke, make little on the tour, and have problems getting a job when you get back. But that may happen anyway.

What's your worst case scenario? You get a job flipping burgers or move in with your parents or something. Big deal, everyone eats some shit once in a while. You're looking at a *paid vacation*. That's what you're getting.

Yeah, it may not work. But if it were me, I'd take it. Now, I have no responsibilities; no kids, no wife. I can *always* walk away anything until then, because I have nothing to lose. So you might be out a little money. If money's that important to you, I suggest you recognize that and deal appropriately.

You're an idiot if you keep working the day job.

Re:You won't get this chance again: affirmation (4, Insightful)

citmanual (2002) | more than 10 years ago | (#8596441)

Buddy of mine was laid off a year and a piece ago. He had significant cash in the bank and the dole (FL style) paying out more than his mortgage.

He had always dreamed of hiking the Appalachian Trail. Come layoff, he freaked out. "Got to get a job got to get a job..."

Here's a guy with an annual salary in cash on hand.
Three months later he's working at a job paying quite a bit less. Why? They were offering to pay. That's it.

Moron. One of my best, smartest friends. Moron. Says it himself "Stupidest move ever."

Go travel. Run lean, and see what happened. I left college, took a gig halfway around the world for half of what my local offers were. Actually, I never figured that out until this week. 4 years ago I left the United States to seek fame, fortune and adventure. I spend two years making half of what I had been offered before I left. You know what? Best money I ever spent.

Re:You won't get this chance again. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8599415)

I quit a very secure UK 26,000 p/a ($40,000) + bens IT job 2 years ago (3rd Line support + internal consultancy, Windows, & IBM Big Iron Shop), even after my boss had told me I had a great future with the company.

I'm now a part time farm labourer. I love it. I've learned more about REAL computing in the 2 years since leaving than I did in the 5 years on the job. I've learned a lot about farming too!

I do three days a week on the farm. I teach myself Linux, PHP, Perl, MySQL and Bash shell scripting the rest of the time, and devour the O'Reilly library.

I live from hand to mouth these days, but I have no regrets. Sure, I'll go back into IT eventually, but hopefully on my own terms and using new skills I've developed.

If you aren't materialistic, and you are pre-heavy responsibilities, the world is yours to enjoy.


Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8601850)

I went to Japan to teach english after being laid off and it was the time of my life. GO NOW! Get out of the dulrums of 9 to 5 for a while and live a little.

as someone who faced a similar choice (4, Interesting)

Siniset (615925) | more than 10 years ago | (#8596076)

i had the chance to move across country with a group of friends, where in all likelyhood, we would have continued our band, and lived the rock and roll life style, so to speak. Instead I stayed where I was because I had a girlfriend and a decent job. Now I'm currently looking for a new job as my contracts ending and am single. But I don't really have any regrets. Neither choice was the right or wrong choice. Who knows what would have happended if I had moved with them? i'm pretty happy right now, and have enjoyed the past two years, and they ended up moving back here.

You might never have another opportunity like this one come along. But that shouldn't make or break your choice.

The best piece of advice I can give is don't stress about it. My guess is that either choice would be fine. Choose the one that just feels the best, and go with it. Don't worry too much about the future, the future will happen.

Re:as someone who faced a similar choice (1)

legLess (127550) | more than 10 years ago | (#8596094)

"But I'm not wearin' any pants!"

Quit ya day job! (2, Insightful)

jptechnical (644454) | more than 10 years ago | (#8596082)

Jack Black put it best. "Set the artist free! I'm saying Quit ya day job. Focus on your craft."

I used to play in a band and had a ball, but I learned a long time ago that it is fleeting and the minute it becomes commercial the fun starts to slip away and it becomes a job.

Decide on a career, if you think Music is your career than go ahead. If you are realistic you will think twice and find another way to get the fix.

rock'n'roll (1)

Fat Cow (13247) | more than 10 years ago | (#8596095)

go on tour...

- a "dubious 4 month hole in your resume" isn't going to ruin your IT career.

- you'll regret it for the rest of your life if you don't take the risk on what you really want.

- worst that's likely to happen is that you're on unemployment for a year.

Re:rock'n'roll (2, Insightful)

hawkstone (233083) | more than 10 years ago | (#8596221)

a "dubious 4 month hole in your resume" isn't going to ruin your IT career

Just want to second that opinion.

If I were looking to hire someone for an IT job, I would have no qualms about hiring someone who just took a half-year off to follow a dream.

You might want to see if you can just "take a leave of absence" from your current job.

Re:rock'n'roll (2, Insightful)

Sparr0 (451780) | more than 10 years ago | (#8596831)

unemployment after quitting? what state do YOU live in?

go (1)

pizza_milkshake (580452) | more than 10 years ago | (#8596128)

if you don't go, you'll regret it later. plenty of time to hate your job later, enjoy it now

one word: (2, Funny)

grimani (215677) | more than 10 years ago | (#8596130)


Another word (2, Funny)

quinkin (601839) | more than 10 years ago | (#8596166)


Re:Another word (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8596240)

While possibly more accurate, you ought to have gone for the rhyming "HERPES" instead of venereal.

HAUL ASS! (4, Insightful)

Neck_of_the_Woods (305788) | more than 10 years ago | (#8596138)

Life is experiences, that is all you have. Rack one up and add to "lifes resume" instead of your "work resume".

Which would you rather tell a story about in 10 years, your 6 month tour overseas or the day they called you in at 3am without overtime to fix a nimda like worm?

Dude, if you don't go you deserve your crappy day job. I don't know how else to say it besides stop reading these posts right now, turn off your computer, pick up your shit, blow mom a kiss goodbye, get a 24 pack of condoms and run out the damn door.

You're young, you only live once (1)

scythian (46974) | more than 10 years ago | (#8596148)

GO OUT AND HAVE SOME DAMN FUN! The IT world will still suck when you return. :)

I hate to be a wet blanket but (0, Interesting)

Neop2Lemus (683727) | more than 10 years ago | (#8596160)

Cash is what counts

Keep the job till you have a few years experiance and then take the world tour, with or without a band.

If you had the band sign a contract which guarantee you a job, and pay, then I'd do it for sure.

If nothing else, staying at your job would get you a few years experiance under your belt and it'd be easier to find a better job next time round. A one year gap on your resume is not what you want. And what do you tell your next potential employer, 12 months from now, espically if things don't work out?

P.S. You came here for wisdom?!? I like it (but am still humoured).

MOD PARENT DOWN (5, Insightful)

oiarbovnb (728906) | more than 10 years ago | (#8597590)

Cash is what counts

Go find a single philosopher who said anything remotely similar. Cash is not what counts. I'm not going to pretend that I know what does count, but it certainly is not cash.

I used to work for IBM in a job I liked, except that I had to travel. The hours were not that great either. I didn't love the job at all, but it wasn't bad at all. The traveling on the other hand was just too much for myself and my new wife and family (consists of 2 dogs and 2 cats). My brother gave me some advise. He said: "Nobody on their death bed has said, 'I wish I would have worked just one more day.'" And I listened to this advise and quit my job for a shittier, lower paying IT job so I could stop traveling and spend more time with my new family.

Although you are right about just about everthing in your post, cash is not what counts...Please mod parent down.

dreams (4, Insightful)

i0wnzj005uck4 (603384) | more than 10 years ago | (#8596161)

I'm going to say a few things that most people I know might disagree with.

1) You only live once. This is so important I want you to read it again: You only live once. Regardless of your religious affiliation and life-after-death beliefs, nobody has any concrete proof that there is anything but limbo after we're gone. That said, there's no reason to allow yourself to make regrets in life, because there's no do-over.

2) Follow whatever dreams you have to the best of your abilities. I'm surprised daily that so many people don't even have dreams any more. The fact that you not only have one, but have the chance to make it a reality, is the confluence of a number of very rare events. This confluence should not be wasted.

3) With no wife or kids, you have no one to disappoint but yourself, and from the tone of your message it sounds to me as if you'd be very disappointed to miss this opportunity.

4) Even if you can't find an IT job when you get back, you could probably parlay your experience from the tour into, at least, gigs back home. It's a lot more work than an IT job, but you could be self-employed as a "bard" of sorts if you wanted, playing bars and festivals.

Re:dreams (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8600238)

Seriously. Back in the early 1980s, I was asked to tour with the Powder Blues Band in their management. I said no, I have to get a Comp. Science degree.
A bit of me has regretted it ever since.

Do it (2, Interesting)

mcowger (456754) | more than 10 years ago | (#8596188)

You'll make yourself happier if you do, and never have to question 'what if'. I dont think the 4 month 'hole' is dubious, either. Write down what you did, its not shameful at all. You tried something new, it didn't work out. Big deal - if you are skilled technically, I dont think a company would hold the fact that you took a small risk against you.

my unbiased opinion =) (2, Insightful)

kendoka (473386) | more than 10 years ago | (#8596189)

Man, I wish I could go on a world tour! I say go for it, friend! If you've got no commitments then you'll never get a better opportunity! Do it for me! =) I'm sitting here 30 something, married, and mortgage payment included so I'll never get that chance, plus, I suck as a musician. =) After all, you could spend four months hunting after it's all said and done, or it could become permanant. Taking a year off to do a world tour as a musician isn't the same to me as not being able to land a job... If you put it on your resume all us 30-something guys would understand right? Who wouldn't want to be a rock star for a little while? =)

Try it out (2, Insightful)

TexNex (513254) | more than 10 years ago | (#8596191)

I'd say go for the tour. I was out of work (dot bomb) and looking for something to do when I went on tour with some friends and it was one of the most rewarding expieriences of my life. If you really want to break into the music biz you're going to have to take some risks...sorry but that is the biz. Dont worry though, the IT industry is making a comeback so you might not have to wait that long to find another job. When I went on tour I drove around the states eating cheap PB&J sandwitches and drinking as much as possible and yet, met some extrodinary people (I was sober alot of the time -- someone had to drive). If nothing it will give you a feel for the industry and a load of contacts. If your band has a big enough name try getting on the Armed Forces Entertainment Network tours, they go all over the world and its all paid for, you get to see the sights and make some excellent contacts all on someone elses penny.

Go. (5, Insightful)

ghost. (85872) | more than 10 years ago | (#8596196)

No amount of lucid, well thought out reasoning in favor of staying will ease the bitterness and regret you will feel ten years from now if you don't go. There will still be sterile, soul-sucking cubicles here when you get back, I promise.

Sorry to oversimplify a tough decision. All I can say is what-if's and if-only's can haunt like demons.

Re:Go. (1)

oiarbovnb (728906) | more than 10 years ago | (#8597616)

First of all, Amen! (and I don't even believe in god!)

Secondly, according to this [] article, cubicles aren't sterile. :)

Do it, but watch your debt.......... (1)

1iar_parad0x (676662) | more than 10 years ago | (#8596294)

I have to concur with the overall "go-out-and -have-some-fun" response. Just make sure you don't go into debt over this. If you're debt-and-responsibility free, you'll be okay, no matter what you do.

Sure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8596310)

Go on the tour, just make sure to get yourself an iBook or PowerBook, maybe you can have a deal with your boss to work a bit from your tour. If you charge the same as some foreign countries, it should be ok.

All I've got to say is... (3, Insightful)

Knetzar (698216) | more than 10 years ago | (#8596403)

"Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life."
-- Confucius

Go for the Band~! (3, Interesting)

nemeosis (259734) | more than 10 years ago | (#8596434)

Even if it lasts only 4 months, it'll be an experience you'll never forget. Plus, it'll help make you a more well rounded person, as opposed to remaining a boring propellorhead geek clicking a mouse all day. No offense to those who do this tho. =P

Give yourself a meaningful and praiseworthy title, like a Systems Engineer - you have to know how all the electronics and computers work right? Or you can put on your resume that you were a Consultant working for 4 months, doing IT and systems work with an entertainment performance group. Come up with some creative engineering to fluff up your resume.

And most importantly, make friends with your band manager. Drink beers with him after work, so that when you need his reference, he can back you up.

More info? (1, Insightful)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 10 years ago | (#8596460)

Have a wife? What does she say?

Have kid/s? STFU, and get back to work.

None of the above? Why aren't you packing already? You never, ever, ever want to look back on your life and say 'Why didn't I take the chance to...' Don't forget the old line about 'nobody ever died wishing they had spent more time at the office'.

You may think your job is secure, but unless you have access to the books, you have no idea. Even then, you might not know.

Get out. Live a little. There'll be some kind of cubicle waiting for you when you get back.

Re:More info? (1)

tiled_rainbows (686195) | more than 10 years ago | (#8597076)

Insightful? Eh?

What part of "I'm single and have no kids or major commitments" do you (and the mods) feel requires futher elucidation?

My experience (4, Insightful)

darnok (650458) | more than 10 years ago | (#8596514)

I was in a similar situation several years ago.

The band I was in was playing in pubs several nights a week, and I was the only one working a normal job. It was great fun, but getting home all fired up at 2am made it tough to get up for work the next day.

We did some recording, then the other guys in the band wanted to go play around the country. They lined up gigs in several places with very little effort, so I had to choose between work and music.

I chose work.

My career was at the point where it was starting to get interesting, and I knew that I'd get some interesting job offers shortly.

The music had, to me at least, always been a fun thing and I'd basically played for beer money while the rest of the guys split the bulk of the loot between them. That wasn't exactly a fortune, but they needed the cash more than I did. I'm pretty sure none of us actually thought we'd get a music career out of it, but suddenly it appeared like it might be a goer.

In hindsight, I don't really regret it. Although the other guys were a bit upset when I pulled out, I'd always made it clear that I had a "second life" outside of music so it was OK. I found another group that was more "work friendly" with very little effort and played with them instead, while my original band went out without me.

In the final washup, they decided that a life in music wasn't really what they wanted. They had a bit of fun, but got stiffed by club owners more than once and found that all of them sharing their lives 24x7 wasn't really that great. Steady girlfriends got put on hold; strangely no GF wanted to tag along with 4 other guys and no other women! There were a few sexual encounters, but none that probably wouldn't have been on offer if they'd stayed at home.

If you think this band is really gonna make it big, or if you really really enjoy playing with them, by all means go for it.

If music is basically just a fun thing with a few mates, then why not just enjoy it for what it is and leave things as they are? If you're an OK muso, you'll always find another group of guys to play with.

That's no gap in the CV - it's a boost! (1)

yabHuj (10782) | more than 10 years ago | (#8596577)

A gap in your resume? No, hell, you did not do "nothing". You were overseas (cultural exchange, maybe even a foreign language?!?), were responsible manager (tech, setups, deals, money, whatever) for a long term tour (months at least), sold your service directly to customers (pre-sales support anyone?) etc. If you've done something - use it to boost your CV.

Whom do you think I would hire for a (international?) project: a hermitic bit mage - or a coder that maybe even was in that country, did some band/tour management and is used to working within a team and under stress?

Noone will complain about a "tried, but didn't work out" sidetrip in your CV - especially if you came back with valuable skills and experiences.

Short: Live your dream. And tell about it.

Longer: I made the experience that the only people successful in their job are the ones that love it. So if you stay back at a "safe" but boring job and mourn your missed chance, you'll stay mediocre (best) - and will probably be replaced by someone better (or more enthusiastic).

People that tried to live their dream and learnt that it just was not possible will probably try their best at their second choice for their dream of life, too. And they'll be good at it. Each time.

Adventures (1)

shfted! (600189) | more than 10 years ago | (#8596642)

You're young. Go have an adventure to pester your grandkids with. You may not make more in terms of money, but you will get immeasurably more in experience. This would be an awesome opportunity to see Europe, that you might not get again soon. I'd definitely take it, while you have no ties holding you down.

What band? (0, Flamebait)

gornar (572285) | more than 10 years ago | (#8596670)

I mean, /. is noted for its incisive, insightful music reviews. What better forum to tell you whether or not it's worth your while to pollute clubs around the world with your sonic garbage?

(actually, I really am curious. If it'll pay as well as a tech job, maybe you guys are better than this week's Creed cover band)

Do it! (1)

torpor (458) | more than 10 years ago | (#8596691)

Jobs come and go. A chance to jam, enjoy yourself, and meet new people ... this happens only when you make it/allow it to happen.

Go, do it! Have fun! Find a new job at the end of the road, if you need to!

Irony? (1)

vogon jeltz (257131) | more than 10 years ago | (#8596704)

"I can't get unbiased advice where I am, so perhaps Slashdot can lend me some wisdom?"

Yes, this is precisely why you should go upon /.
Where else would you get unbiased advice? ;-)

On a totally related note: If I were you, I'd keep my current job. Maybe I'm a little over anxious, though.

You have to ask yourself.... (1)

vertical_98 (463483) | more than 10 years ago | (#8596754)

Do I feel lucky? Well, do you, punk?
I think you would be stupid not to go. I'm really glad I got to do stupid things before I had a family. The chances of doing that now are non-existant. Do it while you can!


Same for me! (5, Interesting)

codeboost (603798) | more than 10 years ago | (#8596827)

It's kind of funny, but I'm in exactly the same position right now.
Except, I'm offered the opportunity to start a comedy show on tv.
I'm a (hardcore) c++ programmer and I actually like what I'm doing.
I also run a dark comedy web site (with a partner) which has suddenly become 'The next big thing' in my country (radio stations started playing our scenes, invitations to talk shows; my phone never stops ringing).
Two tv stations offerred us a contract and we must choose one of them by the end of this week. It's really tempting, but I know how show-business is, you can burn really quickly if you're not careful or good enough to handle the stress.
On the programming side, I'm the dev lead on a project which we've been working on for 2.5 years (full time) and will launch the public beta in two months.
This only makes things harder for me - I don't want to abandon the project at this stage, but the show-biz opportunity is very tempting.
I guess I'll try (really hard) to work on both jobs, at least until the final release of our project. By that time, If i'm not dead or in a mental institution, I will hopefully be able to decide what to chose.
Eventually, I think it's best to listen to your heart and go with that.
Even if you fail, it's not the end of the world - you can always start drinking.

Lie (1)

LizardKing (5245) | more than 10 years ago | (#8596950)

If the band folds, and you find yourself looking for another IT job, then just lie. Ensure that you have a couple of good references from former employers, and then adjust your CV to cover the period you were doing band stuff.


Nobody ever said... (4, Insightful)

eraserewind (446891) | more than 10 years ago | (#8597123)

Nobody ever said at the end of their life that they wished they had spent more time in the office.

Truisms, gotta love em.

As a musician and IT person.... (1)

jotaeleemeese (303437) | more than 10 years ago | (#8597226)

I would sya go for it.

In any case, FWIW, even with one year hole in your resume you will be fine. I know because it happened to me. I was out of work for 1.5 years but I kept machine with Linux and Solaris where I kepy my skillz up to scratch. Thus when it was time to come back to IT I got several job offers.

Do not believe all the pesimists here, a hole in your CV does not matter, there is always somebody with a clue that can see beyond such a thing. If you like IT you will find ways to keep informed, and if you are clever you could use those 5k1llz to help during your tour (get a laptop with a good external sound card, and do recordings, learn some computer based music editing and mixing, or create a controller for the live eggects in your show. Maintain a band's website. Organize the band's accounting using MySQL. The possibilites are endless).

Catch the tour bus (1)

Halvard (102061) | more than 10 years ago | (#8597316)

How many musicians are wannabes? How many are working or touring musicians? How many make a desent living at it?

A lot for the first question, few for the second and very few for the third. I know a fair number of musicians and the one's who took the risk are the happiest, whether or not the make a lot of money at it. The wannabes want to be working as musicians and tend to be unhappy.

So live lean, hit the road, feel tired and streched, wake up in a town or country you aren't sure the name of, relax, enjoy. And take pride that we're all envious!

Don't worry about the resume (4, Interesting)

jonesvery (121897) | more than 10 years ago | (#8597323)

On the other hand, I could potentially be IT job searching again within four months with a dubious hole on my resume. I'm single and have no kids or major commitments, but I do not want to destroy my IT career either for the future.

Obviously you're the one who's going to make the decision: how averse to risk (because there is risk of unemployment) are you, and how much do you want to go on tour? As long as you're considering both sides of the question, you'll come to a good answer.

Where I can offer some (probably) useful thoughts, is regarding the "dubious hole in [your] resume" that you mentioned. Short version of my thoughts: what hole?

Longer version: if you're looking for an IT job again in four or six months, just put the tour on your resume. Unless you end up on the road for years, then your tech experience isn't going to seem outdated, expecially if your spot on the tour is on the tech end. When somebody asks about it during a job interview, you say "I'd always wanted to do this, and the opportunity presented itself; I decided to make the leap and see whether I liked it, while I was still young, single, and didn't have too many commitments. I enjoyed it but, I found that my real interest is in [whatever IT gig you do]."

I've got a couple of even more suspicious gaps in my resume. They appeared when I went from living in the upper half of a converted church in a cool neighborhood of a relatively expensive west coast city, to living the the bottom half of a small house in a student neighborhood in a small city in western New York. (My wife was going to school in the small city in New York.) Basically, I found that the money we had budgeted to live went a lot further that we had anticipated, so it was six months before I actually had to get a job. After working for a year or two I had more money saved up, and when one contract ended I just didn't look for another for four or five months.

I've been at the same company for a while now, so haven't interviewed much, but when I was interviewing and people asked, I just gave them the background and told them a little about what I did during those "gaps" -- I did some stuff that was a lot more interesting than the average 9-5 job during those periods, and I think that helped during interviews at least as much as it may have hurt me.

Re:Don't worry about the resume (1)

HeyLaughingBoy (182206) | more than 10 years ago | (#8602049)

I think that helped during interviews at least as much as it may have hurt me.

My thoughts exactly on reading the OP's dilemma. Use it to your advantage. How many applicants for an IT job can say they just spent half a year on tour? Interviewers, even -- no, especially -- HR drones (who almost by definition tend to be "people people") like talking about that stuff. I'm pretty sure that in most of my job interviews what finally got me the job was chatting about side projects and hobbies. Just about all applicants can do the job to one level of competence or another, but employers would rather have someone with a personality.

Do what you love... (1)

Grenamier (12799) | more than 10 years ago | (#8597362)

...and you'll never work a day in your life...

That's an old saying I heard a while ago and I think it's very true. Working a dull job you don't like is easy to tolerate in the short term, but the dullness eats away at your soul...eventually, you'll become resentful and feel that the best years of your life have slipped away...

It's obvious what you want to're just unsure if you have nerve to take the risk. Take it. Just leave your company on good terms and don't burn your bridges. If you do have to come back to IT, either you'll go back to them for a job, or your next potential employer will go to them to find out why you left. What they say about you will depend on how you left.

Good luck, I envy you.

Choose the sex, the drugs, the rock'n roll (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8597497)

You can alway get a real job for real grown ups when you grow up. Worked for me. Got welleducated and goodlooking wife and 2 bright and beautiful kids, a third on its way. Good IT job. Steady income. A bright looking future.

However, sometimes when i am alone i can still smell the sour beer, the stingy smell of cigarettes, sense the dampness of moist pussy on my fingertips, feel the disorientation after to much to loud music... ahh the memories. Wouldn't be without them. Kinda makes me stay at home you know... i lived "the" life, still do but its a different one. Other people, other values, more wise perhaps?

Do not grown up to early. Enjoy your youth. Relish in the fact that you do not have to work and help support a family from age 6 like in some development countries. Enjoy or else one day you'll be one of those pathetic 30's something men who abandons wife and kids to live a life that they are way to old to live without beeing an embarrasment to anyone including themselves.

Anyway i live Europe, so this might not apply to silly amercans.


dubious hole? (4, Interesting)

techstar25 (556988) | more than 10 years ago | (#8597576)

I won't go into the many reasons why you should do it because several other have already. However I disagree that it's a dubious hole in your resume. I work in IT and everyone here knew I was in a band. We toured twice taking a week each time, and my boss knew where I was going and what I was doing. They thought it was cool. Also when you come back, put it on your resume. You can leverage it to mean that you work well with a team, you are extremely creative, and you enjoy travel. You can also mention that you prefer work that you enjoy and that's why you followed your dream. Any manager would then say "..and you want to work here?!" They'll be flattered you want to work for their company after living the life of a "rock star".

Techie or Musician? (1)

mosel-saar-ruwer (732341) | more than 10 years ago | (#8597617)

I can't tell from your comments whether you're one of the musicians [e.g. the bass player], or whether a group of musicians has asked you to tour as their techie [the guy who mixes and/or records the music, and probably a lot of other things that aren't quite so glamorous].

If you're being asked to be the techie, how much math do you know? Do you know Fourier analysis? Sampling theory? Wavelet transforms?

I ask because there are some really cool, really affordable things you can do with analog to digital sampling these days, e.g. you can get state of the art, simultaneous sampling, 24-bit, 150KS/Sec PCI cards for under $1500 these days. [Specs like that didn't exist 10 years ago, but, if they had, the price tag would have been more like $150,000.] The math and the computer science involved with that stuff would be a heck of a lot more fun than cubicle-based VB/SQL programming.

You'd need some software to go with it; I'd recommend NI Labview at about $2000 + $500 for the sound package. Bottom line is that you can set up the sampling end of a state-of-the-art recording rig for well under $5000 [and the best part, or at least the part that should appeal to /.ers, is that it's 100% DIY].

Of course, recording-quality microphones are gonna set ya back some serious bucks...

Re:Techie or Musician? (1)

karnal (22275) | more than 10 years ago | (#8599264)

"If you're being asked to be the techie, how much math do you know? Do you know Fourier analysis? Sampling theory? Wavelet transforms?"


Why would you need to know all that to be able to mix music and have a "good ear"?

Whew. That was a good laugh. While I don't discount the fact that intelligence can be handy in the music world, it definitely isn't the be-all end-all.

You've got to do it (4, Insightful)

petermcanulty (140720) | more than 10 years ago | (#8597702)

In 1987 I was offerred the opportunity to play bass for a nationally recognized folk performer. I had just started at my first software job a week before, but would have to go on tour a month later if I took the offer.

I said no.

I regret the decision to this day, despite being pretty successful in software.

Don't be an idiot - grab your dream job when you can. It's a lot better to be able to fail and say you tried than regret that...etc.


Six Percent (1)

Nyhm (645982) | more than 10 years ago | (#8597903)

Go buy Screeching Weasels's Teen Punks in Heat album and listen to Six Percent. Before you leave for your tour, buy the rest of Screeching Weasel's albums.

No wrong choice (1)

bluGill (862) | more than 10 years ago | (#8598011)

There is no wrong choice here. Either way is just as good from all you have said. So make the choice you want to make. Obviously you are unsure because you haven't gone for it. So what are you really afraid of? It can't be the job because there are jobs all over, and many do not last a year anyway.

If it is just job hunting, there are jobs everywhere. Even if they decide your tech skills are good enough after this trip, you have shown the people skills needed for management, watch the money for the others (musicians are typically terrible at watching money, so just by being willing to do it you will be allowed to), and scheduling the next concerts (assuming this isn't done) will give you the rest of the skills. You could then leverage your previous tech experience for a job managing techs. Then go to school and get the MBA.

Many programmers I've known have been musicians. However some of us have a theory that you cannot be a good musician and a good programmer. Honestly evaluate yourself and decide what you are good at, and follow that path.

Laptop computers are cheap enough, take one with (perhaps with MIDI interfaces or high end sound cards) to keep up your tech skills. If you really want to get back into tech after the trip. Remember though that there are many careers to choose from don't limit yourself to what you have done before. MIT claims their average grad makes 7 career changes in his lifetime. Career changes, not jobs changes. You decide what you want to do with your life.

If you decide not to go for it, you have just left an opening for someone else to take the job, feel good about that. And remember you can use your vacation and the money you are earning to tour many of those places yourself. There is no reason you have to make money at music just cause you like it. Get some friends together and jam every few nights if that is what you want to do. Many good hobbies have been ruined by making them into a job.

If you decide to go for it, there are many techs out of work right now who would love your position, feel good about giving it to them.

Hit the road! (1)

gr8fulnded (254977) | more than 10 years ago | (#8598219)

Keep in mind this little tidbit... You should never live to work, you should work so you can LIVE .

You said yourself there's nothing holding you back. Go. Now.

Do It (1)

foote (441858) | more than 10 years ago | (#8598391)

You're free of obligations to a wife or children. When you do have those obligations, especially the children, it's completely different.

Plus, it makes you a more interesting person. You'll at least have good stories to tell. So when you're meeting new women, you're not just an IT guy, you also spent several months (at least) touring with a band.

So do it, and report back from the road. I'd be interested to hear how it works out.

Go on the tour (1)

raider_red (156642) | more than 10 years ago | (#8598426)

Think about it this way: You can get another IT job. Even if you have to move back in with your parents for a while, you can always find another one. You may only have one chance to go on a music tour though. Which would you rather tell your grandchildren about? That you got to tour with a band, or that you played it safe and kept the servers running for an extra year.

Obligatory Simpsons Reference (2, Funny)

phillymjs (234426) | more than 10 years ago | (#8598727)

Marge: So... you want to go on tour with a traveling freak show.
Homer: I don't think I have a choice, Marge.
Marge: Of course you have a choice.
Homer: How do you figure?
Marge: You don't have to join a freak show just because the opportunity came along.
Homer: You know, Marge, in some ways, you and I are very different people.

Episode 3F21, "Homerpalooza" []


do it (1)

xutopia (469129) | more than 10 years ago | (#8599155)

I'm going back to university in a field completely unrelated to IT but a passion I've had since I was a kid. IT is a passion too but I find myself having more fun doing that on my spare time than any other time.

What makes you happy (1)

Capt_Troy (60831) | more than 10 years ago | (#8599205)

Do what makes you happy. If you choose stability over happyness, you'll regret it later.

It's a gamble (1)

Trans Am WS6 (763334) | more than 10 years ago | (#8599640)

I can tell you from personal experience that if you don't enjoy your work to some extent, the longer you stay there the more you'll hate going. If deep down you are highly unsatisfied with your job then maybe you should follow your heart. However, you must keep in mind that if your music work doesn't work out it will be difficult to find another IT job (especially with only having a little IT work experience). Don't forget the old saying that gamblers hate to hear "If you can't afford to lose it, don't risk it." Keep this in mind too: I'm assuming you are in an entry level position right now. If you are it should be relatively easy to apply for other IT positions within your company, so you could try to move around which will probably keep you interested in your job.

Perspective (1)

b-baggins (610215) | more than 10 years ago | (#8599811)

In twenty years, I doubt you'll be saying "I wished I would have stayed in that IT job," but I think it's a fair bet that you would say "I wish I had gone touring with that band."

There's more to life than making money and having a secure job.

Life is short (1)

CharterTerminal (199214) | more than 10 years ago | (#8599965)

Go for it. Have as much fun as you possibly can, take lots of pictures, and enjoy the experience even when it's horrible.

But don't be COMPLETELY irresponsible. Talk to a financial planner before you go. They will be able to assess your likely income/expenses, and help set up a plan so that you can work with your money wisely, even when you're on the road. When you come back to the States, it may be a while before you get hired again, so you'll want to plan ahead.

I've ruined my life many times over; sometimes for love, sometimes for money, and other times just on a whim. I may have lost out on the opportunity to buy a house and settle down and be respectable and have a capital-C Career, but if I had to do it over again, I'd make all the same silly mistakes.

Leave. (1)

/dev/trash (182850) | more than 10 years ago | (#8600632)

I need a job. I have no desire to sow any wild oats. I crave stability. Sale me as your replacement.

Where's the decision here? (1)

CertGen (591598) | more than 10 years ago | (#8600669)

Do it man!

I don't see what the delimma is here? A chance to live out The Dream and tour the world playing music should not be passed up. If you're any good at interviewing and IT, whatever that is, then what are you worried about?

Note: I had to respond just so my band's URL is in yet another /. a disc...make me famous too!

Think of it this way... (1)

turrican (55223) | more than 10 years ago | (#8600807)

What's more likely, you sitting at a tech job, dreaming about being on tour - or being on stage, dreaming about sitting at a tech job?

Two Things (1)

DynaSoar (714234) | more than 10 years ago | (#8601097)

My ex's favorite saying in such cases was "Do something, even if it's wrong." There are few things you can't quit.

My own take on such things is from Kurt Vonnegut: "Strange travel suggestions are dancing lessons from god." I usually take them. Some times it's not to my benefit, but I'm always glad I did it.

Hard choice (1)

KILNA (536949) | more than 10 years ago | (#8601740)

Dear slashdot:

Should I go out in the world travelling doing something I love at a time in my life when I have no commitments other than work, or should I stay chained to my desk job for fear of losing it? Oh yeah, and there aren't any groupies at the desk job.

Go for it! (1)

Tsu Dho Nimh (663417) | more than 10 years ago | (#8601852)

I'm single and have no kids or major commitments, but I do not want to destroy my IT career either for the future. I can't get unbiased advice where I am, so perhaps Slashdot can lend me some wisdom?"

Go for it. Explaining "I got an offer to tour with a band and deicded to eithe r become the next Kieth rigchards or just get it out of my system" shouldn't cause any problems.

Don't listen to these fools (2, Funny)

anon* (637224) | more than 10 years ago | (#8601865)

Six months is a huge chunk of time to be out from a career that moves as fast as IT. You'll spend six months overseas, eating crappy food and sleeping in fleabag hotels, then you'll get back here to the good 'ol USA and NEVER be able to land an IT job, and be stuck flipping burgers or washing cars for the rest of your life.

In fact, I feel SO strongly about this that I'm willing to give up my cushy, secure IT job and go to Europe in your place, just so you won't have any nagging feelings that you're letting people down. Just send me the contact info and put in a good word for me.

No need to thank me... knowing that I've helped you make the proper choice is reward enough.

No Brainer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8602132)

I'm single and have no kids or major commitments

It's the perfect time in your life to do this. Have fun!

Go for it (1)

kefoo (254567) | more than 10 years ago | (#8602328)

I'd rather try and fail than not try at all (I'm also a musician stuck in an IT job). If you don't go for it you'll always wonder what would have happened if you had. If you do it and end up back at a desk in three months, at least you won't have to ask yourself "what if?" every day for the rest of your life.

The loneliest words you'll ever know,
If only, if only it were so.
The emptiest words that there'll ever be,
It could've been me. It could've been me -- Jim Steinman
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