Courtesy of Jordan Smith
- I had been in the music department of a sportscasting company for two years when my supervisor left.
- When I wasn’t promoted, I rage-applied to five new jobs, and was hired somewhere else within a week.
- I work in a smaller office now, but I’m making more as a manager.
This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with 28-year-old Los Angeles-based music-industry professional Jordan Smith. It has been edited for length and clarity. Music coordinators in Los Angeles have an estimated average salary of $58,000, according to Glassdoor.
I had worked at a sports-broadcasting company for two years when my boss decided to leave for another company. We specialized in organizing musical layouts for entertainment programs, and it was a relatively new department that I helped build. It can be tough to get ahead in the music business, so landing this position in August 2020 after losing my first post-graduate job earlier that year made me feel more established in my field.
When my supervisor left, I thought the higher-ups would at least let me interview for the now-vacant position. I was his right-hand man for two years, but I was surprised when his replacement was announced before I could be considered for the more-senior role.
My supervisor and I shared a lot of responsibilities. When he was too busy to do something, I was the person who handled it. Naturally, I thought I would be up next for the promotion if he left, but that wasn’t the case.
I immediately thought, “I can’t do this anymore.”
It was time to move on
It was very upsetting. I could’ve cried because I had spent so much time building up the music department and even creating how-to guides since we were a fairly new team. I was annoyed that they filled the position with someone else in the department without asking if any of the music coordinators would be interested.
In that moment, I started looking through professional Facebook groups, LinkedIn, and other job boards to see if anyone was looking for a music manager.
I wasn’t seeing red, but I was seeing somethingas I rage-applied to five new jobs. After two years working as a music coordinator for the company, I felt that I had learned all I could. And, obviously, there wasn’t an opportunity for me to advance where I was.
Rage-applying for a new job in 2022 landed me three interviews and multiple job offers less than a week after my boss overlooked me.
Redefining rage and realizing my worth
The Los Angeles music industry is fast-paced, so I wasn’t surprised to be moving on so quickly, but I was relieved that the timing worked out so well for me.
I applied for a music-manager job over the weekend, and I interviewed for it the following Tuesday. I was offered the position by Thursday. And all the while, other jobs also offered me positions.
Now, I’m working for a smaller music library, but I’m making more money than I did in my last job and I have a more senior role.
Rage-applying helped me know my worth
The music industry can be so hard to navigate, but I think my rage-applying helped me land new opportunities quickly. It made my thoughts clearer, and I wasn’t nervous at all. I knew I couldn’t stay at my old company, and I knew that I couldn’t settle for less than what I’m worth.
Rage doesn’t have to mean something negative. It made me realize exactly what I deserve from an employer, and helped me be unafraid to ask for it.