Music industry internships are bad for your career, because they so often lead to jobs in the music industry. In a world where greed, incompetence and boundless vanity are so widely rewarded, it’s not always easy to escape. Protect yourself from a life of status anxiety and financial insecurity by following these ten simple steps to never getting hired:
1) The entertainment world is obsessed with status. Show up early for meetings to ensure you have a seat near the top of the table. When the boss arrives and can’t find anywhere to sit, he’ll have time to reflect on your impressive punctuality while he goes to get a chair from the next room
2) Impress your new co-workers with stories about your previous internships and/or college radio station and they’ll quickly go from barely tolerating your continuing existence to wondering how they ever lived without the latest daily installment of “How awesome it was when I lived in London for a year”.
3) Show your enthusiasm by air-drumming in any meeting that involves listening to music. Bonus points for bringing your own sticks. Be careful with your extremities: you won’t get paid for the whole summer if you get fired for elbowing a VP in the face on your first day.
4) Show that you understand new media by blogging extensively about the specific details of your daily tasks. Build social capital by dropping hints about the secret project you’re working on.
5) Keep mentioning the influential relative that got you your internship. It’ll make you co-workers super-comfortable.
6) Demonstrate your eagerness to learn about all types of music by asking everybody for tickets to shows, all the time. Bonus points for leaving it until the day of the concert and then asking the most senior person in the building or, worse, their assistant, who already has one entitled brat to take care of.
7) Help your colleagues to vicariously relive their college days by getting drunk at a showcase in front of as many people as possible. Bonus points if its still light outside, if you break something expensive, insult an artist or puke on a senior executive.
8) Make the most of the opportunity: don’t let an artist leave the building until they’ve talked to you, at length, about your band, your college radio station and the hilarious thing that happened when you went to see them – or wait, was that the night you went to see Josh Groban? No, it must have been the night you went to see Josh Groban because your mom was… YAWN
9) Nobody likes brown-nosing: when people ask you what you’d like to do when you graduate, don’t ever say “I’d be lucky to work here”. Show that you’re an independent thinker by suggesting that you’d be happier working for a competitor.
10) If somebody gives you a mundane task, do a half-assed job on the assumption that this will either inspire them to give you something more interesting or they’ll stop asking you to do anything at all. It’s win/win, really.
Many thanks to all my interns for trying so hard to be unemployable. You did me proud.