"So many people move here hoping to make it as a professional singer or songwriter and end up becoming disheartened when they never hit the big-time," said career counselor Pam Hardy of Nashville, Tennessee. "But I think we need to change our definition of 'success.' To me, true success means having a secure job that pays. Now that's something worth aspiring toward."
Pam's new, more nuanced approach to success is working; under her tutelage, over a dozen former musicians and artists have achieved temporary or limited-duration success in the form of seasonal or contract work, and a number of others have gone on to achieve true, permanent success.
"Seeing people succeed on this very tangible level is just so inspiring," said Pam. "It's why I do what I do."
Pam proceeded to recount one of her most notable client success stories: Willow Woods, a former punk rocker who'd been previously been determined to shake up the system through her hardcore revolutionary tunes. With Pam's support, Willow tweaked her definition of "success" and successfully landed a six-month administrative position with one of Nashville's top healthcare companies - and went on to be hired as a permanent employee, with benefits.
Pam beamed as she spoke of her former client. "Just the other day, Willow was telling me about this inspiring podcast she listened to while she was stuck in traffic during her 45-minute commute to work, and how sometimes she sings along to commercial radio while she's driving. I was so moved by that. Again, it's why I do this!"
Willow herself corroborated her delight at having a job that not only pays her regularly but allows her ample time to listen to other interesting podcasts during her traffic-jammed commute to and from work.
"I've definitely succeeded in becoming part of the system," she said. "Go, me."