It's the hardest part of any sound engineer's job – especially touring engineers – and it will happen countless times throughout our careers.
Finding work can be long, stressful and really drain our spirits. The search can take weeks, if not months, and can really make us question our career path, but is it all worth it?
Obviously, you know that the answer is yes, otherwise i hope you wouldn't be reading this. Now unfortunately, there is no easy three-step plan in finding touring work, but I'm going to share a few tips that I've learned along the way, and hopefully you can avoid some common mistakes.
Get yourself out there and do the job right
Perhaps take a few jobs on the cheap – less than your usual rate or even on the free – just to get your name out there and let people know that you are looking for work. But never let your standards slip. Despite taking less money than you're used to, be sure to still deliver the same service and professional attitude. You never know who is watching so always try to impress. Input lists, stage blacks, no drinking. In the immortal words of David Brent, “professionalism is... and that is what I want."
Never burn bridges
Even if you feel hard done by by your previous employer, strive to keep your relationship professional and amicable. The opportunity might arise to return to work with people from the past or their network may extend to help you find a new job.
This one goes with any line of work. Always have an up-to-date CV ready to hand out and send to anyone that needs it. There are tons and tons of groups on Facebook, LinkedIn and all the other social networking sites which list jobs daily and most are taken before people have the chance to even think about them. If you're too late to the party you're always going to miss out.
Keep your chin up
Times may be hard, but stay passionate and you'll be on your feet in no time.
Phil Gornell is a FOH engineer and producer/mixer at Steel City Studio in Sheffield, UK.
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