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Find Your Dream Job: Insider Tips for Finding Work, Advancing your Career, and Loving Your Job

Jun 22, 2016

You don’t need to live in Los Angeles or have a hit song to have a successful career in music.  Across the country, tens of thousands of people make good livings as musicians and singers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.  And the federal government predicts the number of such jobs will go up in the years ahead.

The pay can be good, too. The average wage for musicians was almost $50,000 a year in 2015.

This week on Find Your Dream Job, we explore how you can build a great career in the music industry. Our guest, Mark Powers, is a professional drummer who knows all about how to make a living in music. Mark shares his experience building a career as a performer, writer, and music educator. His advice to aspiring artists: create your own opportunities through diversification and building good relationships.

In this 29-minute episode you will learn:

  • Why diversification is the key to success in a music career
  • The importance of ROCK: Repetition, Opportunity, Commitment, and Karma
  • Why music royalties are a small (but important) part of the income model for musicians
  • Why you should put yourself in situations where you are the “weak link”
  • How to build an online presence as a musician

This week’s guest:

Mark Powers (@MarkPowers | LinkedIn)
Percussion Artist and Educator
Author, I Want to a Drummer
Owner, and
Portland, Ore.

Percussion artist and educator Mark Powers has shared the stage with everyone from Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen, Devon Evans (of Bob Marley and the Wailers), and the Rolling Stones saxophonist Tim Ries. Mark now offers video drum lessons on his educational website, He is the author of several percussion textbooks and a past contributor to Modern Drummer Magazine.

Fun fact: Mark is a former co-holder of the Guinness World Record for Longest Drum Roll by a Group.

Listener question of the week:

  • I love music - but I’m not musically talented.  What sort of jobs are out there in the musical field for me?

Do you have a question you’d like us to answer on a future episode? Please send your questions to Jenna Forstrom, Mac’s List Community Manager at

Resources referenced on this week’s show:

If you have a job-hunting or career development resource resource you’d like to share, please contact Ben Forstag, Mac’s List Managing Director at


Thank you for listening to Find Your Dream Job. If you like this show, please help us by rating and reviewing our podcast on iTunes. We appreciate your support!

Opening and closing music for Find Your Dream Job provided by Freddy Trujillo,