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Life After Berklee: Trusting Your Instincts!

Jen Ketrow ’09 has learned to trust her instincts, something she suggests everyone try to do!

Sometimes it’s hard to truly let go and “go with the flow.” I’m sure we’ve all got that little inner critic who sometimes, isn’t so little telling us what we should be doing with our careers, personal life, etc.  I know for Berklee alumni, it’s exceptionally hard because we hold ourselves to very high standards.  If you read my previous post, you’ll know I currently have a 9-5 job that has nothing to do with my degree.  I’m not going to lie; it was hard for me to accept a day job that had nothing to do with music (or anything I was passionate about, for that matter), but I did it knowing it I would be financially stable, and that has allowed me a better platform for pitching my songs and promoting my band Jenny and the Felines.

I still suffer from that little man inside my head who says I should have reached certain milestones in my music career that most of my Berklee classmates have already reached.  I shouldn’t be living in New Jersey, or I should have a wonderful music administration job in New York City by now.  This voice can upset the creative process immensely, if you’re not letting your energies balance.  Of course I want a music related job or to have one of my songs licensed or cut to celebrate all that I’ve worked for during and since Berklee. Sometimes I get a little overambitious and duly frustrated when my career path doesn’t unfold as fast as I want it to, but I also know through experience that trust is a wonderful thing.  Trusting in your own abilities.  Trusting that you will be on the right path, even if now seems like the worst path you’ve ever been on.

Next month, I’m returning to college to obtain my teaching license to teach music in the public schools.  I had to sell some of my old music gear to pay for this class, but to me, it’s worth it because as soon as next fall, I’ll have a day job that is music related and will be able to share my passion for music with the next generation, while still building my songwriting career.

This blog series stands as a representation of my individual journey post-Berklee.  It goes out to any Berklee grad who is still finding their way on their journey, or anyone who is trying to balance a somewhat unfulfilling day job with their music career as they ascend to where they truly want to be.

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2 Comments

  1. This is great! Congratulations Jen on beginning teaching! Teaching is a great way to support yourself to pay for all the expenses that come with running a band. I started teaching private lessons right out of Berklee and its helped me become a better communicator for my songwriting.

  2. Amy

    You know, I feel the same, you are not alone! After I graduated in 1999 with my B.M. in Music Business, I had many jobs in the music biz before I realized I needed backup. I also realized I have always been a musician first, and the L.A. scene kind of ripped my heart out. I ended up moving to Wyoming, where I met my husband, and have been working in the oilfield for 8 years! But I can say that we live very comfortably, and are able to provide for our son with no problems – we have a nice house, several vehicles, bills are paid, we take vacations…. and I can record and write on the side, in my spare time (what little of it I have). I do use the business part of my degree on a daily basis; and I just keep it in my heart and soul that I’m a guitar player and I need to play every day to stay alive. Thanks for posting, it’s good to hear from other fellow alums!

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