Meet Elias Haslanger. He’s a multi-careerist based in Austin, Texas.
We’ve known each other for years through the music community.
I always felt a kinship with him, as he works a corporate job while also being a killer saxophonist.
Check out his insights.
- Marketing at National Instruments (ex Dell)
- Saxophonist and Composer
On his motivations for many careers
My desire to balance being family focused with my artistic endeavors requires that I wear multiple hats and engage my full potential.
I don’t subscribe to the mythology that an artist must starve for their art.
I rather enjoy engaging the varied skillsets that being a marketing professional and a music professional demands.
Problem solving and managing relationships is at the heart of both careers, so it’s really just the tactics that are different.
Advice to aspiring multi-careerists
- Always believe
- Set goals
- Prioritize and organize
- Do the work
- Effectively manage your relationships
- Never stop learning
On overcoming obstacles
I left the road life after a tour with Maynard Ferguson in 2001.
In order to make a living in New York City, where I was living at the time, I began my second career in marketing.
It turned out to be a great move and the beginning of my dual career path.
Living a life on the road was no longer appealing so I was able to strike the balance I still strive for today.
On how careers are mutually beneficial
Working as a marketing executive in a Fortune 50 company offers many benefits for me and my family including financial security, healthcare security, and the ability to stay close to home with my family.
It also allows me to choose what types of music projects I would like to participate in without the burden of making a living playing gigs.
Living in Austin, TX gives me lots of opportunities to play music with a large community of musicians that perform at a very high level.
As I mentioned earlier, playing music and marketing both present the opportunity to creatively solve problems and work closely with others to achieve desired outcomes.
On finding balance
We live a full and active life and it is important to schedule time for my wife and family.
Prioritize and organize.
On something he wishes to have learned sooner
That it was possible.
Society and schools teach that you must pick one thing and do it very well in order to succeed.
Overcoming the stigma of multiple careers
In the corporate world, I always wanted to be known as a professional who knew what they were doing so I was reticent to let people know I was a musician.
It wasn’t until people saw an article or heard my music on the radio that I would confirm that it was indeed me who was playing the saxophone.
It is usually met with wonder and amazement and the question “Why are you working here?”
In the music world, most folks know I have a “day job” but any skepticism is usually laid to rest once we begin playing music together.
On how to share information about many careers
It’s usually only shared when I’m prompted but I don’t shy away from it anymore.
I have a long and successful corporate career that needs no justification or proof of performance.
On how to sublimate ego at the day job
Both jobs have aspects of the work that are very enjoyable and some that are tedious or mundane.
There is no perfect job.
On what other careers he’s interested in
I have an idea for a book I’d like to write and I’m fond of writing essays and articles.
I enjoy research and biographies, so I’d like to become a writer at some point.
I have passion for fishing on the Texas Gulf Coast.
I’d like to become a fishing guide after I retire from the corporate world.
A Day in the Life
6:30AM – Wake up, feed animals, coffee
7AM – water garden
7:30AM – wake kids, prepare for school
8AM – transport kids
8:30AM – at desk for work
Noon – lunch
1pm – at desk for work
6pm – Happy hour with wife
7pm – dinner with family
7:30 – drive to gig
8:30-10pm (sometimes later) – play gig
Midnight – sleep
Of course not every day has a gig so I’ll practice or compose at that time. Working out is a “work in progress” 🙂
Where to find Elias
Kabir Sehgal is a Multi Grammy & Latin Grammy Award winner, as well as New York Times bestselling author.