Ep. 105: What are the top three skills desired by corporate recruiters, and why are they found in musicians? When should musicians consider a day job in the business world? With Christopher Caliendo

top three skills desired by corporate recruiters

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Based on market trends, your best new hire is highly likely to be a musician. We discuss the core creative and soft skills musicians bring to the marketplace; when and why musicians should consider a pivot to business; and how to find a job that will help you actualize a sustainable lifestyle, work-life balance, AND your artistic goals.

Christopher Caliendo
Christopher Caliendo


Joining me today from CA is Christopher Caliendo, founder of 2t Academy. Christopher combines 35 years of experience in the entertainment industry with 15 years of commercial banking practice to teach musicians how to parlay their core creative & soft skills into the world of business while accelerating their creative aspirations. 2t Academy Members learn how to achieve financial stability and work-life balance without having to go back to college to earn a business or finance degree.


We discuss:

  • Christopher was incredibly successful in the music & entertainment industry before he pivoted to the world of banking. We could feature an entire episode on his music accomplishments. He was invited by Henry Mancini to LA after winning his Scholarship for Film Composition. That led to his success composing for popular TV shows; an Emmy nomination. He was the first American composer in Vatican history to be commissioned twice by John Paul II. And those are just a few highlights from his pre-banking music days. Christopher tells us what led him to get involved in the banking world after that.
  • What are core creative skills and soft skills? What is their relationship to being a musician? What is their value in today’s workplace?
  • Christopher’s Top Five soft skills:
    1. Communication (including the sub-skills Active listening, Confidence, Conflict Resolution, and Organization)
    2. Problem-solving
    3. Creativity
    4. Adaptability
    5. Work ethic
  • According to Christopher’s research, three of recruiters’ top desired qualities in candidates are highly developed in musicians:
    1. Communication
    2. Organization (including attention to detail and time management)
    3. Conflict management
  • Christopher aims to motivate and inspire musicians to re-value their musical education, especially those facing the top four pain points he feels are facing musicians today:
    1. Lack of jobs
    2. The anxiety of student debt
    3. The concern about the relevance of technology learned in school
    4. Achieving work-life balance
  • 2t’s website says: “DISCOVER how to use your skills and that you learned in your music education and why they are so valued by the business world!”
  • How does music training create the skills needed in today’s business world?
  • How do musician skills transfer to the business world?
  • Christopher has said that the MFA is the new MBA; the MFA is the new hot thing for corporate recruiters; and MBAs are the next blue-collar workers. He explains this perspective.
  • What are the reasons musicians enter the business world?
  • How do I navigate the world and pay for my core costs AND utilize my creative skills?
  • Should musicians consider a day job in the business world and, if so, how can they find a job that aligns well with their creative goals and skills?
  • Recommendations for those who are in the music world and contemplating a switch to business.

Connect/Other Resources

In-Episode Promo


Christopher explains what music means to him.

Closing Words

Thanks so much to Christopher for this great information. You’ll find links in the show notes to all the resources we discussed, including 2t Academy and ways to connect with Christopher and his work. I want to let you know about a new feature on my website. Now that we have over 100 episodes, all on various aspects of the holistic power of music, I wanted to make it a little easier to explore certain topics, if a specific topic is of more interest to you. So in the Archives section of my website, you can still view ALL episodes by release date. You can now also view episodes by topic. They are grouped into 4 main categories:

  1. Science & Health
  2. Sports & Entertainment
  3. Education & Community
  4. Business

Just go to the website and choose Archives from the Podcast drop-down menu. Enhance Life with Music’s 2nd birthday is coming up in August! Please help us celebrate by giving us the best BD gift ever – voting to nominate us for The People’s Choice Podcast Award! If you listen to this before August 1st, please go to https://www.podcastawards.com/ and click the blue button to vote. Scroll to the Music category and select Enhance Life with Music. Voting ends July 31, 2021. Thank you in advance for supporting the show in this way! As always, you’ll find a transcription of this episode in the show notes; this is Ep. 105. And you’ll find me on email (mindy@mpetersonmusic.com), Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. All links are on my website and in the episode details right in your podcast app. Thank you so much for joining me today. Until next week, may your life be enhanced with music.

View Episode Transcription

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