Converting from a Musician to an Accountant

Written on 7 July 2014

A common question I’m asked concerning my career move is “why the change?”. The reason I made the change was because someone told me, being an accountant is just like being a rock star…they lied. The honest answer is the security of a regular income and being a part of a community.

Working as a professional musician is an exciting lifestyle, travelling the world, meeting like-minded people and performing music to audiences of varying sizes, but behind all the glamour, life as a musician involves very late nights and therefore late mornings. It involves very unsociable hours where you can only really socialise with fellow musicians working similar hours. Most people with ordinary jobs are working during the day, when you are free, and when everyone celebrates the end of a hard days work with a night out, you are working. It’s actually a fairly solitary profession, spending many hours practicing new material and trying to stay ahead of the game in an extremely competitive industry. There is always someone younger and better than you, who is willing to do the same job for less money. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a fun way of life, but it is definitely better suited to a younger, party-spirited person, with little or no ties, who doesn’t mind living out of a suitcase and is OK with not knowing when or where their next pay cheque is coming from.

One big change I have noticed is that I’m up to date with current affairs as everyone in the office has a different interest and opinion to offer on current events. WSM has a good social atmosphere with regular events to take part in, for instance, we have just recently won a Rounders tournament for local businesses within Wimbledon and we have a sweep stake for the World Cup, which I’m glad to say I’m still in.

WSM has definitely made the culture shock and transition to a “9-5” a lot easier for me. With an office full of lively (contrary to popular belief) and friendly people, I have instantly made friends and thoroughly enjoy going to work. So far I’m really enjoying the challenge of accounting and working within a team to beat deadlines. I will be starting my ACA very shortly, but for the moment, I still have evenings free, so I’m actually still working as a musician but enjoying it more, as it’s not my primary source of income anymore.

Anyone thinking about doing the same thing, I would advise a few things to think about before taking  the step. I’ve always been good with numbers and enjoy analysing how a business functions; these are two very important areas to have a keen interest in if you are thinking about a career in accountancy. One option is to try a short accountancy course (there’s a lot of cheap introductory courses online) or even applying to local accountancy firms for a weeks work experience to see if it’s something you might enjoy.

I’m glad I made the move because I can still enjoy my music at the same time as developing a career, enjoying the best of both worlds.

If you are interested in pursuing a career in accountancy, get in touch with Nelly Brown for more information.