How To Recover From Loss of a Dream Job

Hi, Dr. Civitelli,
I’ve been in the same business my entire adult life (mid 40’s now) doing the only job I’ve dreamed about doing since I was 5 years old (sales and marketing/promotion in the music industry for both record companies and music retail). Music is and always has been both my job and my hobby and I woke up just about every day happy and excited to go to work. The business has imploded and my job in it has gone as well. What do you do when your one job, your one passion and your one dream has gone up in smoke? It’s been so hard to job hunt because I feel nothing will match the ultimate dream job I had and can no longer have.

I don’t want to be a salesperson for something unrelated to music. The only reason I was good at my job was that I truly love music and believed in my heart what I was selling. I feel the same way about marketing and promotion. If I am not in the music industry any more, I would rather not be doing marketing and promotions. My main skills are being good with people and being thorough with my work. Moving is not an option because of family considerations.

Thanks for any advice you might have.

Ex-Music Bizzer
Honolulu, HI

Music Dream Job

Dear Ex-Music Bizzer,

I am so sorry that you are going through this career challenge! To respond to your inquiry, I decided to ask a variety of career experts for their best advice for you. As you will see, they are very different in their styles and approaches to helping people going through a career transition. I recommend reading all the responses and using the suggestions that resonate with you.

Dr. Marlene Caroselli
Dr. Debra B. Davenport
John P. Engel
Darrell W. Gurney
Garret Kramer
Matt McCovann
Ruth B. Mott
Dan Purdy
Scott Rozman
Karlin Sloan

I hope this helps!

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  1. Ex-Music Bizzer says:

    Thanks everyone for all your great advice, each writer had some great points that I plan to follow.

  2. Landed on my Feet says:

    After being laid off from my music-related dream job at age 50, I was absolutely devastated. Eventually I found a similar job but I had to move hundreds of miles away and take a 1/3 cut in salary.

    During the meantime I worked with a therapist and read this book cover-to-cover:

    They discuss real life famous career disasters and the psychological and practical aspects of moving on. People like Martha Stewart for example. It was very inspirational for me and helped me get my head on straight…. which in turn helped me perform well at my job interview.

    Good luck to you. I hope you find a meaningful job.

  3. Landed on My Feet says:

    p.s. if you don’t mind a specific suggestion, there’s a huge wealth of talent in Asia that could create an “Asian Invasion” with the right person marketing them, from say… Hawaii. If Shakira could cross over, why not Ayumi Hamasaki, Super Junior, Girls’ Generation, T-ara,…? I’ve been trying to get this music some way other than thru youtube and it’s really really difficult. Even when I can buy the CDs I can’t read the labels!

  4. I spent most of my life in menial jobs, then I was hired to a dream job of working as an audio tech on over 40 major hollywood movies over the course of 6 years. I was laid off from that dream job which involved travel, adventure, and being on the sound crew for major movies.. and now I am back to being a “common peasant” again, taking menial, non-fulfilling jobs.

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