If you know me at all, you know that I loved marching band in high school. I was the biggest band geek ever! Emotionally, that band geek is still there, even though I no longer march, and no longer play. Watching my kids at their contests is bittersweet. While I am super excited for them, and proud of them, and love watching them, I definitely wish I was out there doing it myself. I realize that I can never be in marching band again, but now that I’m looking for a new job, it’s time to really dig into why I loved about it. To incorporate those into my search.
Intense. The intensity that a member of marching band felt definitely depended on that person. Some people were there just to have fun, to socialize. For me, I liked the hyper-focusing that it allowed. We started in May with music. During the summer, we remembered and refined our marching skill, and began learning some of the drill. At band camp, we started really putting the show together. We practiced everyday after school. We played at the home football game halftime shows. We competed at invitationals and competitions. From May through October, I lived, breathed, slept marching band (and yes, I still dream about it sometimes…. see? Biggest band geek ever!).
Cyclical. After that last competition, it was over. From November through May, there was very little talk about marching band. As a group, we moved to focusing on concert band and jazz band and pep band. While I was a part of all those, the intensity wasn’t there. For me, this was a time to sit back and relax. But you can believe that when it was time for the next marching band season, I was ready to go!
Improvement. All marching bands aim for perfection. As all areas of life, perfection can never be attained, but that was the goal. As individuals, there was a lot we could do to improve our personal contribution to the band: practice the music at home (even after playing for three hours during school and after-school practice), attend sectionals to practice as a group or to improve your marching skill, etc. As a group, our directors looked at the overall picture and tried to get in the judges’ heads to determine how to make the show better. Music was changed, drill was adjusted, dance was added. We practiced the same exact drill over, and over, and over, and over, and….. We practiced until it was the best we could do. It was all about improvement.
Friendship. We worked hard at marching band, but we played hard too. During every break, you could see small groups of friends throughout the field. I was not exactly well liked, especially by my fellow saxes, so it took me awhile to figure out where I belonged. People felt I was “teacher’s pet,” a “brown-noser.” Perhaps that’s true. But for me, it wasn’t about the teacher or about getting anyone to like me. It was about the band, about being involved in any way I could. Simply being in the band room was better than not. I’m not sure what exactly it was that brought my group together. Perhaps we were all outcasts, struggling to find our way. Perhaps our personalities just melded together. Whatever it was, we became inseparable and had great fun together.
Performance. I almost forgot to add this one! I love the anticipation of the performance, whether it’s for a football game, or a contest, or an eliminating competition. I love the soaking up the audience’s energy!
I’ve discovered that these
four five traits – Intense, Cyclical, Improvement, and Friendship (and Performance) – are all incredibly important to me. Therefore, I want a way to incorporate them into my next job. I want a job where I choose a great group of friends out of a much larger group of people; where we practice the same thing over and over, striving for perfection, working toward an end goal that has an exact end date; where once that end date is over, there is time to relax and rejuvenate; where there is a variety of intensity about the goal – where some people just want to have fun, and others really want to win, so that I can choose exactly where I stand in that continuum. And I want to soak up the positive energy of those around me.
Other than marching band, the only other job I can think of that might have these same qualities is in the theater. What else can you think of? Please leave your comment below.