5 Signs Becoming a DJ is NOT for you

There are PLENTY of reasons why I love my job, and I am incredibly grateful that I am able to pursue my passion full time. It suits my personality well and whilst there are tough sides of my job, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Yet there are some people for whom DJing is definitely not a match made in heaven. I’ve pulled together a list of personality traits that are an indication DJing isn’t for you – if these resonate, I highly recommend not taking up the decks – perhaps it’s better to pursue another career.

1. You struggle to survive on little sleep
If you are someone who needs your 8 hours sleep each night, DJing is NOT for you. This is a career defined by lack of sleep and regular jetlag. Whilst I am getting better at kicking jetlag's butt, many weekends I will have gigs that end at 2 or 3, and have to be up in time for a 6am flight. The lack of sleep is particularly horrific during the early phases of your career. You get given the REALLY crappy set times, which of course you take (seize the day!), then have to be up and functioning in order to work your day job.

2. You’re not a people person
Being social is a massive part of being a DJ. Essentially, we are performers, and it is our job to hype people up and make them feel on top of the world. Whilst it is epic to have the ability to affect the mood of a crowd, it is really damn hard to be the life of the party when it’s 3am, you want to be in bed and you still haven’t slept after last night’s gig. Socialising with the club crew and other DJs is also a big part of what I do, so you have to be prepared to be social even when you’re tired. 

3. You thrive on consistency

For those of you who love routine and consistency, you will not find either if you become a DJ. Especially when you first start, gigs can be sporadic. You spend a lot of time promoting and trying to secure shows – because of this, gigs come slow at times, and are plentiful at other times. Either way, if consistency is your jam, you’re better off finding a more stable career.

4. You want to get rich quick
Whilst the ultimate goal is to get to a point where you can DJ fulltime, it’s a long, hard slog to make it happen. You definitely can end up making great money if you are successful, but for the first few years the income will be minimal. When I first started, I was accepting 5am gigs for $50. It took me quite a few years to get to the point where I didn’t have to work other jobs. You also have to factor in the expense of purchasing decks to practice on, and the cost of getting lessons to kickstart your career.

5. Music is not your passion
As for all careers, you will only be successful if you LOVE what you do. I am aware that there is a big misconception that as a DJ you don’t have to be musical, you just press play / stop (I’m rolling my eyes right now).  In truth, music is a big part of what we do. If the feeling of a hectic beat doesn’t get your heart racing, this is not where you should invest your time. As a DJ, you constantly have to work to source new music and find epic beats. Having a good musical ear is also vital - you know that cringe feeling when a DJ mixes a mismatched beat? Yikes. For me, it helped so much being classically trained. Classical training is definitely not a requirement, but a love of music is a must!

Dara HayesComment