If You Haven’t Completed The Employment Status Update Survey, Please Do

The initial responses to last week’s survey asking orchestra managers who lost their position over pandemic shutdowns to provide an update on their employment status has been both sobering and revealing.

So far, the vast majority of respondents have yet to find a replacement position and a few respondents have been kind enough to provide useful details about their situation. For example, one manager indicated that while they were initial laid off for five months, they have returned to their position, but at 75 percent pay and having absorbed an eliminated staffer’s duties.

In short, they are employed but with a greater workload at less pay.

If you lost your position since March and have yet to complete the survey, thank you in advance for taking part and encouraging your friends and colleagues to do the same. We’ll take a deeper dive into the results after collecting more data.

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About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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