Being a DJ can be a very rewarding career choice if you have the ability to withstand countless hours of rigorous planning, loud music and transporting heavy equipment to multiple venues. In this blog, we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of becoming a professional DJ.
The perfect opportunity to improvise and be musically creative
Have you ever listened to a song and wondered if it could sound better with a new remix? Have you always enjoyed listening to and analysing dance music, as well as finding ways to improve and invent new dance tunes?
This is essentially the role of the DJ: to spend a considerable amount of time inventing, improving and perfecting dance tunes to ensure their set receives the best reception from the audience. However, as one of the most competitive industries on the planet, it is not always easy for DJs to earn a stable income, particularly if they are relatively inexperienced.
Plenty of freebies
One of the main benefits of being a DJ is that you will enjoy free access to an endless array of major events, which will often take place across the globe. You will also have the chance to add friends to your guest list and the opportunity to network and become friends with many other famous DJs, who will be able to teach you new techniques and offer invaluable advice for future gigs. This will also open up opportunities for collaboration, which will help you become known in the industry and build a reputation.
Your social life will flourish
After a long gig, DJs will often be invited to special after-parties, where they can take a well-earned break with a free glass of champagne. You have the opportunity to incorporate your work and social life, unlike many other jobs, where social life may be entirely restricted to weekday evenings and weekends.
However, be prepared for unpredictability
Like many other professionals in the music industry, DJs are often self-employed and will usually receive their income from multiple sources. If you live in somewhere like the United States, this will usually mean you will have to pay for your own health insurance, which could be very expensive if you have any particular medical conditions that require long term treatment.
The unpredictability of freelancing and the variability in income can be stressful and will certainly not suit people who prefer consistency and knowing exactly how much they will be earning in the next 12 months. With an unpredictable income, it will also be more difficult to obtain credit for loans or be approved for a mortgage, as lenders will be taking a greater risk with individuals who do not have a guaranteed salary.
Be prepared for constant travelling
While some people would marvel at the idea of travelling to dozens of countries each year, others may find it tiring and stressful having to constantly check-in and check-out of airports, travel to unknown venues and coping with different language barriers. Flight delays will inevitably occur from time to time, and if you happen to miss a gig, you could lose a significant amount of money, even if you are able to claim your travel expenses against your tax bill.
Network, network, network
Like any job that involves freelancing, the key to establishing new clients (in this case, venues that are willing to pay for your DJ service) is to make yourself visible, attend as many events as possible and cement you mark in your specific music genre.
Emma Solomons is the manager at the Westcliff Allegro Music store where they stock an extensive range of DJ tools.