Editorial:  Why DJing Is A ‘Real Job’ By DJ Skillz

Editorial: Why DJing Is A ‘Real Job’ By DJ Skillz

People love to use the term “Real Job” a lot…in a sense, stating what I do as a DJ isn’t an actual job. In their defense, it’s mostly ignorance considering the fact that they only see a small piece of the puzzle. They see the party side of it…which half the time even if its a shity night we still put up a facade that we’re having an awesome time. It’s ignorance in the fact of just not knowing.┬áSo, I figured I would explain a little bit. Ok, time for my rant. Kudos to those who will take the time to read this.

The term you should use, isn’t “Real”, it’s conventional…it’s not the conventional job for most people. Working 2-4hr shifts (that you see as work) a few nights a week. Here’s what really happens on a typical night. If I work 10-2, that means I leave my house usually at 830ish, & I get home anywhere from 3-330. So, that’s 7hrs of actual time that I’m out for work.

Then, lets talk about prep work, finding music to play, making edits…that’s at least 20+hrs a week for the club (that’s not including the 6hrs of doing my weekly radio shows).
You have annoying clients & customers…I have drunken idiots constantly having me worried that they’ll spill drinks on my equipment or cause a fight where my equipment can potentially get damaged. Equipment that’s $5,000+ not including my music library which I consider priceless.

You have a boss you can’t stand who tells you exactly what to do. We sometimes have bosses who give us a hard time about exactly what to play, then sometimes attempt to cheat us out of money. Not every owner/promoter I’ve dealt with I liked. It’s called, doing your JOB. You deal with them, make nice, get paid & be on your way.

You have sick days…guess what. If I’m sick, I have someone cover for me & don’t get paid. Not to mention, if you start to feel sick at work, normally it’s not a big deal. Imagine constantly having 2-400+ people count on you to do your job every night regardless of how you feel. Then being sick & still doing the best you can. Going to the bathroom if you’re sick & djing?? Maybe if you’re lucky, but you have a better chance of hell freezing over that you’ll have no line or even a bathroom stall depending.

If you’re at your work station & your equipment breaks…eh, no big deal. It’s your bosses/companies fault, they’ll fix it and be on your way. If our stuff fails, we have 2-400+ drunk people at a bar who instantly get pissed & will leave, thus making us not get paid most likely.

So next time you say, “real job”…don’t be ignorant. Use the words Conventional or Normal if you want…or just don’t say anything at all. Yes I’m blessed to be able to do something I love & get paid for it. I know that, realize that & count my blessings daily…but at the end of the day, it’s still a JOB. For you to tell me it’s not “Real”, is a sign of ignorance.

— DJ Skillz



  1. I posted a rant similar to this on my fb page, but in much greater detail and also included the compensation aspect. Well said, much more tactful then the way i worded my version of this a few days ago.

  2. Cheers to that!!

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