i graduated from high school 3 years ago and i wanted advice from people on what good jobs are out there for people with just a h.s diploma.  i have a crappy job making minimum trying to figure out what i want to do with my life, but i just can't figure out what i wanna do.  i've been to college, but studying is just not for me.  is there anyone here that can give me some advice on where i should be looking for career jobs?
There are 24 comments, leave a comment.
hi ronb,
the one piece of advice that i can give you is that whatever you decide to do, make sure that you commit fully to it and above all make sure that it is something that you will enjoy doing in the long run. if studying is not for you then i advise big time doing a work apprenticeship and learningf a trade. this will always stand to you and give you direction. you can always develop your piano skills along the way and play on the side. i definitely advise you to do an apprenticeship because it is something that you can travel with and the pay is good as well (in ireland you get paid twice as much as anyone else if you have a trade).
what are good trades to get into right now?  i've never been good with my hands though.
hi ronb,

you might want to start with taking a look at your most outstanding abilities.  career advise is often given backwards.  start with examining the things you do most easily; these are the clues to how you might begin to track your connection with work that is appropriate for you.
for example, don't rush down to a construction site and apply for an apprenticeship just because the site might be hiring.  it is important to find out who you are.  do you play piano and is that why you are writing to this site?  
often creatively expressive people hide from themselves because the world around them dictates that artistic/musical endeavors are not financially sound.  but the truth is, life is about where you put your focus.  so focus on your strengths, abilities, talents, and skills.
take paper, write it all down, then step by step focus on ways to make this into the life/income you want.

i also have a mental problem called social anxiety where i don't feel comfortable around people and i fear being the center of attention like talking in front of groups of people
you can *learn* to get around the effects of situational anxiety -- not that it's easy.  there are effective drugs (not just antidepressants -- antianxietants), but there are also some more low-key approaches, including the classic "know what you're talking about before talking about it in public," i.e., over-preparation.

as far as trades go, there are just too many out there for anyone to suggest prior to *you* going through the process mruth outlined (which makes enormous sense).  if you have relatively good vision and are in fairly good physical shape, you could work for the railroads, for example, but all of these trades have specific pros and cons that are tricky to figure out without talking to a bunch of people.
i work at crappy 7-eleven right now, not going to school, i have mental issues, don't have a bright future. do you guys no anyone who has it badder than me? playing piano is my escape from reality.  i'm not that good. but i enjoy playing piano by myself for fun. do you guys have careers or do you guys make a living playing piano?
i work as a freelance tutor for a charitable trust in germany which has the purpose to integrate people who are out of work back into working life or to get a job for the first time in their life. so i know plenty of people with the same or bigger problems.
the advice that have been given here so far is excellent, read especially mruth's message above again.

one thing can't be stressed big enough: finish sucessfully an apprenticeship !!! and think positive !!!
here in germany you are totally lost without one and you don't even get the chance to try a proper job. i don't know if this is the same in the u.s.a.

in my lunchbreak i research some websites for you that could help you to make a decision in finding what working area could be right for you.
well said mruth
use the career decision making tool

get an overview of the different apprenticeships and watch the videos to see what the job is like



what about becoming a piano tuner?  i don't know what the training for this involves, but i believe the money is pretty good, and if you are a piano player (which i assume you are) then it keeps you in touch with music in some way in your job.  i pay a tuner about $100 for a tuning.  i don't know what this works out to in an equivalent hourly wage.

one other word of advice.  you are still young, so don't say you don't have a bright future.  your entire life is in front of you.  the fact that you are concerned about finding a good job means that you will.  it is only the people who don't try that get stuck at minimum wage for life.

one further bit of advice.  are you willing to move?  there are areas of the country which desperately need workers, and you might find it easier to break into a good trade in another location.
hey, if you graduated three years ago then you are in your prime for fun and adventures!

do you like the outdoors at all?  ever ski or snowboard?  ever thought about skiing or snowboarding?  it's extremely easy to get a job at a ski town.  call up any ski area in colorado, ask about employee housing and what kind of jobs are available (hey, get a job as a lift operator!) and you'll get a good taste of life.  

a lot of "mental" problems are real, no argument about that, but at the same time, a lot of these kinds of problems can be smoothed over if you find a place that you really enjoy being in with good people.

my ski bum years in aspen were some of the best years of my life.  if my dog never comes back, i might go to a ski town again for a few seasons.  why not?

if you're not tied down, have no wife or kids, man, a chance of scenery can really be helpful.  do your best to save a few dollars for a couple weeks of expenses, then go for it.

keep in mind that i don't know you or exactly your situation, so any advice given here, by me or anyone else, must be carefully considered with regards to your personal situation.

good luck!  

hey, there are a lot of people here on this site.  i bet someone lives in a ski town and can help get you hooked up.
If I'm not back in 24 hours, call the president.

Scot is available for skype jazz piano lessons (and google hangouts, phone call, etc...)
Use the contact link at the top of the page.
thanks yourmove for the web links. because i have social anxiety, i don't feel comfortable socializing with people and i don't like to go out and do things like a normal young adult. i just stay home all day if i'm not working.  i feel that i have a boring dull personality so that explains why i have no friends.

you may have problems, but don't get too down comparing yourself to other people.  even people who seem happy and social have their own problems, some of them much worse than yours.  everyone has to live with crap and none of us are as good or nice or happy as we seem to be to other people.
never a truer word said marksdg... we all have issues, its just that some people are better equipped to hide them.
hiding them isn't really the most healthy thing to do, though.  have you tried homeopathics that help settle those kinds of feelings down?  ignatia comes to mind, settles your mind and spirit.

have you ever tried yoga?  give it a shot.  

many conditions of the mind and body can really be helped by trying to get things in balance.  yoga, a diet rich in vegetables and fruits and whole foods, exercise every day, these things are simple and can help bring about a change in your sense of well being and sense of self.

you also might want to talk to a professional. there are things a person can do, say to themselves, think certain ways, that can help.

good luck!
If I'm not back in 24 hours, call the president.

Scot is available for skype jazz piano lessons (and google hangouts, phone call, etc...)
Use the contact link at the top of the page.

i'm also a pretty socially awkward person, pretty much always have been. i remember a few years ago while in the midst of a pretty severe wave of deppression i was looking around on the internet for, well i'm not sure what, but i came across information about social anxiety disorder. at the time i remember feeling a huge sense of relief, just that there was some kind of label i could put on myself, this is what i am, i have this disorder. after a time, though, i came to realize that that's all it was, just a label, and hanging on to it just wasn't helping me. don't cling to this idea of yourself as being broken, don't let it become your crutch. social anxiety is a form of self-denial, of constantly seeing yourself through the eyes of others, and never quite measuring up. what's needed is a shift in perspective, from one of self-denial to one of self-acceptance, total, complete, and unconditionally, social awkwardness and all. i know it's easier said than done, but you need to move past a sense of yourself as being broken to a sense of just being, being who you are and being ok with that, no mattter what anyone else may think of you.

i have made a lot of progress, and these days i am much more able to actually enjoy the company of other people. i still have days where i say "what the hell is wrong with me?", those are  the days i'm realizing more and more how important it is to just say, well, that's just how i'm feeling, and i accept myself for it, instead of feeding the chain reaction of self-denial, of hating myself for not feeling good enough, and then hating myself for hating myself, etc. it's a tailspin. at some point you just have to make a decision to break the cycle.

for me music has forced me in a big way to work on myself. if you think speaking in front of a group is scary, try playing music in front of an audience. for me there's always been a disparity between what i'm able to do on the piano when i'm practicing alone and what i'm able to do in front of an audience.  the anxiety of trying to see myself through the eyes of others is the exact same anxiety that makes me choke on stage. but i know i have something to say musically, so i push myself to work through it.

good luck, and don't sweat the job thing. you've got plenty of time to work that out. my mom worked minimum wage jobs all her life. when she was 47 she went back to school, two years of community college, then she finished her degree at a 4-year. then she went to medical school, and after that a 4 year residency. now she's dr. mom.
hey jwv76 did you ever get help for your anxiety like therpay or medication? are you really shy and soft spoken like me? people don't like guys like me because i'm painfully shy and they see that as being weird and not attractive, but i can't help it. i've was seeing a psycologist for about 2 months an then i stopped. he basically told me that things i thought about myself were irrational. i still get panic attacks when speaking in front of people. i had to go to jury duty and i had to talk about myself in front of at least 100 people and i almost past out from feeling so much anxiety. i felt like a total idiot after i was done because everyone in there saw how nervous and stupid i sounded.
i did see a shrink for a bit, i don't know that it actually helped anything. it would have been more productive if my shrink had acted more as just a listening ear, it would have been good if i had developed a relationship with a therapist where i could just go to therapy and just talk, about whatever, just to practice the act of opening up to someone else. i never developed that comfort level with my shrink, but that's not to say you shouldn't try it again, if you think it would help. i sort of happened upon more of, i guess you'd call it a spiritual path. a book called "the power of now" written by eckhart tolle changed the way i look at a lot of things. anyway, i really should get back to practicing, again, good luck. there are on-line communities for social anxiety disorder that might give you some different perspectives, but again, don't get trapped into that "poor me, crippled by my disorder" mindset. btw if there had been a million people in that room, instead of a hundred, or a hundred million people it still wouldn't matter two bits what those people thought about you. the only thing that matters is how you feel about yourself, there's only one opinion that counts and that's yours.
like jwv76 says, the only thing that matters is how you feel about yourself.  i remember when i became "unshy" in my senior year in high school. i was terribly afraid of having any attention on me. playing piano recitals nearly stopped my heart, and talking to girls was not even in the equation.  then one day i did an oral report on swords, something i knew about, and all of a sudden i enjoyed talking about it in front of people.  what i learned was that when it came to how i interact with the public, as long as i'm on a subject i know about (these days playing piano) i'm completely at east with 1 or 10,000 people.  

i knew then that even though i felt like throwing up every time i got in front of people, as long as i knew what i was talking about or doing, things would be ok.  that's how i've approached it ever since.

good luck!  and listen to what jvw76 has to say, because the only person that can take steps to move forward in your life is you.
If I'm not back in 24 hours, call the president.

Scot is available for skype jazz piano lessons (and google hangouts, phone call, etc...)
Use the contact link at the top of the page.
ronb trying going to a cbt therapist. i read that it is the most effective way to treat anxiety disorders.
like jace said i highly recommend that you see a therapist. social anxiety is the 3rd most common mental disorder in the world so your not alone.
i just ran across this site:


a career in piano technology is unique and very rewarding. with a solid education you will be able to work in concert halls, colleges and universities, recording studios, retail stores and in many other exciting settings.

maybe you are interested...
if you are, go to https://www.concertek.com and ask dave carlson if you have any questions. he's an incredible musician- plays jazz trombone and bass, and for some reason knows hundreds of heavy classical tunes on the piano.  he's the only guy i let touch my piano as far as tuning and tech work goes.  nice guy too, he'll be happy to answer any questions you have (be sure to tell him i told you about him)
If I'm not back in 24 hours, call the president.

Scot is available for skype jazz piano lessons (and google hangouts, phone call, etc...)
Use the contact link at the top of the page.
Please sign in to post.

Jazz Piano Notebook Series
Scot Ranney's Jazz Piano Notebook, Volume 1 - jazz piano tricks of the trade

Volume 1 of this educational jazz piano book contains 15 jazz piano exercises, tricks, and other interesting jazz piano techniques, voicings, grooves, and ideas Scot Ranney enjoys playing.

buy pdf version - buy coil binding version - videos

Scot Ranney's Jazz Piano Notebook, Volume 2 - jazz piano tricks of the trade you can use today

Volume 2 has 14 jazz piano exercises and tricks of the trade, and quite a bit of it is Calypso jazz piano related material, including some Monty Alexander and Michel Camilo style grooves. Jazz piano education is through the ears, but books like this can help.

buy pdf version - buy coil binding version

Tim Richards' Jazz Piano Notebook - jazz piano tricks of the trade

Volume 3 contains 12 jazz piano exercises and explorations by the acclaimed jazz piano educator, pianist, author, and recording artist Tim Richards.

Tim wrote the well known "Exploring Jazz Piano" and "Improvising Blues Piano" books and has several others to his name.

buy pdf version - buy coil binding version

Jeff Brent's Jazz Piano Notebook - jazz piano tricks of the trade

Volume 4 is by Jeff Brent, a jazz pianist, composer, teacher, and author of "Modalogy" and other acclaimed jazz theory and education books. In this book Jeff shares detailed analysis of transcriptions of live performances. He covers everything from the shape of the songs to the tricks and licks he uses in improvised lines to the ideas behind his lush chord voicings.

buy pdf version - buy coil binding version

Most Recent Discussions
Volume 5 of Scot Ranney's "Jazz Piano Notebook Series" is up and running!
How to Develop Your Improvisation from Beginner to Advanced
Big Chief
How to Play Bossa Nova
Best Pianos for Beginners
How to Reharmonise a song

Volume 5 of the "Jazz Piano Notebook Series" is Available!
LearnJazzPiano.com File Downloads News
One Hour of Relaxing Piano Music
Jeff Brent's Jazz Piano Notebook
Fundamentos Físicos del Sonido
Aprendiendo a tocar PIANO gratis con partitura

Top Sheetmusic Picks

Jazzy Christmas Arrangements
Cocktail Piano
Best Songs Ever, 6th Edition
Christmas Medley
Moana Songbook
Late Night Jazz Piano

Jazz piano education is cool.

be the main character in your own story

Rock on. Follow your passion.

Sign In

privacy policyterms of serviceabout • 50,656 messages 63,069 accounts 53,767 logins
LearnJazzPiano.com Copyright © 1995-2019 by Scot Ranney • website software and design by scot's scripts
LearnJazzPiano.com is For Sale - Serious Inquiries Only