It’s funny to see which habits I internalized from my academic years as a music performance major stick with my vocabulary decades past the decision to pivot away from that career path. For example, it doesn’t matter if we’re talking about an arts administrator being the finalist for a new position or a musician being the finalist in an audition, I often refer to that scenario as “winning a job.”
The irony is no one “wins” a job, you earn it. Nonetheless, I have yet to work that habit out of my system.
Moreover, there’s a dark side to the phrase “winning a job” flying under the radar, especially for positions that are highly competitive. Specifically, it creates a subconscious notion that the finalist is someone should be grateful for what the outcome actually is: earning an offer.
With nearly 25 years of hindsight and experience, I can say with a great deal of confidence this creates an artificial qualifying variable when deciding to accept an offer.
A recent radio program interview (more on that in a few weeks) brought all of this to mind and I’ve decided to write a pair of articles on the topic, one for musicians and one for administrators, on when it’s okay to reject a job offer. While not as uncommon on the admin side of the fence, it’s still borderline heresy for musicians.
Best of all, the pointers are every bit as applicable to entry level admin and section musician openings as they are to executive and principal positions.