Every one of us is dealing with a changing world. When we look to the authorities (church, school, government), we discover that they are working off the Old Model world, which was set up to support the industrial revolution. This setup is our traditional model based upon producing efficient workers for factories. The school system was designed to homogenize people as much as possible, and get them used to being somewhere for eight hour stretches at a time. It was doubly convenient, since school hours coincided with work hours for many, and the overreaching lesson for students was “be somewhere for eight hours”, very little of which was productive time!
The problem here is that the world this model was based upon doesn’t exist anymore. For many of us, that can be a downright terrifying. We did as we were told, got through high school, went to college (often ending up deeply in debt in the process), and were told that there would be a fantastic job with benefits and retirement waiting there at the end. The carrot was dangled the entire time, and it’s no wonder that people are confused and frightened, having discovered that the entire system is now a farce.
Not to be too bleak, but the other downside here is that this same school/work industrial model, while being great at producing obedient workers, doesn’t do much to encourage creative thought. This is where the real problem lies! The world is full of opportunities, growth, new possibilities, but it takes a savvy person to navigate it! You can no longer count on an employer to take care of your retirement. That is your job! This is a beautiful thing, since it puts your future in your hands.
The great thing about all this change and choice is freedom! You no longer have to stay at the same job your entire life. The average job only lasts 5 years now, and pensions are almost a thing of the past. For creative people, this allows many options for employment, and life paths that were previously unavailable.
So, who gets a leg up in this curious new world? I’d argue that musicians are going to benefit across the board from the way the world works now. In the past, we were working in the music business with record labels as big banks and bands as hit factories, with a lot of luck, and a lot of reliance on big corporations. Today, we are on our own as musicians. We are marketers, business people, and creating art as well, leaving us in control of our own destiny. This is a beautiful thing! The ones who are successful (both in music and in life) are the ones who adapt to the current state of the world. If we stop fighting this, and take a look at how the world works NOW, and simply dismiss the old model, we will be rewarded.
If you’re looking for an employee, or a partner, consider someone in the arts. They are used to navigating in a world of change. They are adaptable.
The key to updating the system to work moving forward would be to encourage art, music, writing, and the like so that we can produce these problem solving individuals. They also need training in business, taxes, money management, and leadership, exactly the things that were discouraged from the old obedient/industrial model!