The music industry is tough. It’s competitive and crazy and really difficult to get your first shot in it. There are also a lot of Neurodivergent people in the music industry, which often is a huge benefit for a creative environment. For example, our power to think with no box (as opposed to ‘thinking outside the neurotypical box’) is often an admired and incredibly useful quality. However, I’ve experienced the double-take people do when they see me, a 25-year-old woman spinning in my chair, regularly getting up to walk around, and butting in on Zoom calls. Being a hyperactive, impulsive ADHD woman means that these things are going to happen, and it’s better that they do, instead of trying to sit still at my desk impersonating a neurotypical employee, masking my hyper activeness through biting my lip or fiddling with my hair.
For the best part of last year, I was in the process of applying and interviewing for a new job in the music industry. I work in Streaming, pitching music to get playlisted and editorial support on streaming platforms. My friends were getting through five applications a day, whilst I barely managed one a week without collapsing from exhaustion. I found it very hard to demonstrate who I was on one sheet of paper, and kept finding myself thinking: “if they just interviewed me they’d realise how good I am at what I do”. If you’ve ever felt like that, my best piece of advice would be to just keep at it, whatever it is. If you need to take a break for a few weeks and come back to chasing your dream, do that. It’s all part of the plan. I have always had massive dreams for my career and a real belief that they’re all achievable. I kept at it, and eventually, the right people believed in me, took a chance on me, and now I have my dream job in my dream company! We still have a way to go with improving accessibility for people like you and me in this industry.
One of the first things on my to-do list is to check if there is a group for Neurodivergent women at my company. If there isn’t one, I’m starting one. One where we can all spin in our chairs and talk on top of each other as much as we like!