If men define situations as real, they are real in their consequences
–Thomas Theorem, reformulated by Robert K. Merton
INTRODUCTION: FINDING PURPOSE IN WHAT WE DO
The opportunity recently arose to build a resume for the sake of my Topics in Music Business course at Adams State College. During the process of building my current resume, which I will discuss later, I came to realize and took note of a few intrinsic and universal values that accompanied it’s creation. The most profound of these realizations was that a resume is more than just a “career snapshot,” as author David Cutler titles it in The Savvy Musician. It is more than the piece paper that we use when job-hunting, and it certainly should be more than just an assignment for class. While there is no denying that it serves this purpose, it is worth noting that the “exercise” of writing a resume also fulfills a greater purpose–it has more meaning. There is a mindset that I have recently re-adopted into my life and begun implementing into my learning more than I have done in years past, and that is, as I addressed earlier, to find both the intrinsic and universal value in all that we do.
For me, since this is my immediate environment, this principle mostly applies to my academia. Often times, we are asked to write a paper, complete a homework assignment, or even take a class that we may not want to. Sometimes we convince ourselves, whether as an excuse or merely out of complacency, that these “assignments,” which actually stand true to their literal definition, do not apply to us or our futures. An innate paradoxical human desire that we all face is the need to feel unique and separate from the heard, while at the same time yearning for social interaction. Firstly, to deny either as a bare-necessity would be somewhat naïve. We all need both in order to sustain our mental and physiological well-being. However, what seems to take prevalence in our minds, when making such claims as “This does not apply to my future,” is that our careers run outside of the status quo. For the sake of discretion, I will not name names. However, there are peers of mine who complain about such things and in such a way that resembles the situations mentioned above. I will acknowledge duly that I am no saint, and have certainly expressed statements similar to this in the past. However, I challenge us to search for that intrinsic and universal value in doing the things we do not want to do, even if they seem illogical at the time. A friend of mine once informed me that writing a lengthy essay is made easier, almost simplistic, when you aim to find purpose in what you are writing. If nothing else, this will certainly exercise our patience; and as musicians, this is a virtue that we can always use more of.
SO, WHAT CAN A RESUME DO FOR YOU?
Above all, a resume is an instrument of self-reflection and a means of mapping out goals that we hope to achieve. I started out the construction of my resume by compiling a list of all the applicable experiences in my life (i.e. employment, education, honors, etc.) and with foresight also compiled a list of “dream jobs/experiences” that I hope to have attained in 5 years. Rather than exhaust the process with all the details of what goals I developed, I have attached a combined resume above to illustrate, in red, the major changes I hope to make in the next five years. Please click the photo above to view the differences. While some are left vague on purpose, the important part is that I have mapped out a timeline for when I will roughly be able to achieve these goals. As an extension of this “assignment,” I referenced back to a worksheet we filled out at the beginning of the semester. This sheet, which you may download HERE, was a Personal Inventory & Goal Worksheet. It’s function was to instigate brainstorming about our current skills sets and what we hope to achieve in the not-too-distance future. Using this as a reference point I was able to take my resume and build off of it, creating a dream resume dated five years in the future. I also used resumes of other composers who are pursuing as well as succeeding within similar fields that I hope to. There are plenty of talented, successful film composers out there to chose from.
ACTUALIZING OUR DREAMS
The term self-fulfilling prophecy rings clear when discussing this exercise. Published in an article by Robert K. Merton titled “The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy,” he provides a reformulation of the Thomas Theorem that epitomizes the principle that I hope to communicate. It states, “If men define situations as real, they are real in their consequences.” This reinforces in my mind that if I am patient and always strive for more, then my dreams are seemingly more feasible. As a friend of mine puts it, “You are always ten paintings away from your masterpiece.” However, keeping that mindset, just imagine how incredible that painting will be eleven paintings from now. Just remember that self-fulfilling prophecies can easily become actualized dreams.
For this week’s blog, I would like to thank education and friends for giving me the means to follow my own leads and develop an intrinsic and universal sense of learning.
Thanks for reading Musik Modus Mémoires!