If you’ve never experienced Solo & Ensemble, either as a parent or as a young kid in Band, think of a contest that involves you playing your musical instrument by yourself (Solo) or with a group of people (Ensemble). The Musicians stand before Judges who evaluate and critique their musical performances. Large groups meet at a large school and take turns playing music as individuals or in groups. Ratings are given based on the overall quality of the musical performance. Exciting times no matter how you witness this skills showcase.
So, what does this have to do with GOING CIVILIAN? I thought you’d never ask.
The lesson here is that in your post-Military employment, you need to be able to function as an individual as well as part of a group. These young harmonizers have the guts to stand up before a LIVE audience and give it their all musically. They have judges listening intently and following along on the sheet music to make sure they play the song right.
You will have to stand on your own during your work life. Your employer will have a blueprint for how you’re supposed to perform. They will judge you. You must be ready for this.
Soloists get measured based on a strict criteria. For example, many get judged on whether their musical solo was memorized or not. Some have strict time limits to abide by and must complete their performance within for example, seven minutes. Others get rated on how well their Accompanist (the Piano Player who plays backup music to support the Soloist) performs AND did the musical selection meet the theme of the event (meaning that a Classical piece of music is preferred over of popular music selection).
What this means to you, that even in your capacity as a “Work Soloist”, you will be judged based on a specific criteria.
Using our example above, your employer will watch to see that you learn the basics of the job. They will pay attention to all the things you need to memorize. Do you get to work on time and do you finish your work within the allotted time? Even as a Soloist, you might have someone supporting your efforts. How well they perform reflects on you. These things mean a lot when you’re a Soloist behind the microphone or at the workplace.
That brings us to the Ensemble part of the equation.
In simplest terms, everything you’re measured on as Soloist also applies in the Ensemble or group performance. How well you play with others is the key.
You’ve no doubt heard a Band that just doesn’t seem to click before. They just don’t seem to work well together and the music just sounds bad. If the Judges were in the room, they would empty plenty of ink from their pens and flip many a page of written feedback.
Just like in an Ensemble, you will be judged at work on your ability to get along with others. If you lead a team project, you can count on being judged on what your team does or fails to do.
So, when it comes to an example of how your work life might get judged, think Solo and Ensemble.
My hope is that you’ll get a top rating at work and end each day on a high note!
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