[I write for DottedMusic.com every Wednesday on music technology, marketing, and lifestyle. The following is an article that I've written for Dotted Music, which I will republish on Musebox on a 5-7 day delay.]
There is a single pervading sentiment among the dedicated touring musicians that I’ve interviewed and it’s the passion for making music. Musicians would love nothing more than to make a living out of strumming and beating their instruments day after day. But the reality of the matter is, unless you’ve been fortunate enough to be backed by a major record label, chances are that you can’t afford to ignore the necessary and looming evil in a musician’s life that we all know as money. This is where I cue Starbucks.
I want to clarify that I haven’t been paid by Starbucks to write this article, but rather the coffee company was brought to my attention when Freelance Whales’s frontman, Judah Dadone had suggested and went as far as to offer a testimonial for why musicians should seek employment at the coffee chain.
“My friend Mackenzie told me a long time ago in high school when she was 17 year old girl, she was working for them and she got dental insurance. That’s so rare. I just learned that they spend $300 million a year on health insurance and dental insurance for all their employees and that’s more than they spend on coffee beans.” – Judah Dadone, Freelance Whales
Seeing that I’ve studied the Starbucks case study in the past I can vouch for his suggestion.
We can safely assume that musicians tend to hold various “odd” jobs (and I use that term openly when referring to jobs unrelated to music) to make ends meet, whether it’s working as a truck driver, holding a 9-5 desk job or even attending med school. But even today, a desk job can’t guarantee a benefit as coveted as health insurance. If you’re desperate for health insurance and interested in additional perks like stock options and a retirement savings plan, the allure of applying for Starbucks will become more and more of a necessity.
The following are benefits that are offered by Starbucks known as “Your Special Blend.” If you work over 20 hours a week (full or part-time) you and your partner are eligible for the universal-benefits program, which encompasses the following:
• Progressive Compensation Package
• Healthcare Benefits (Medical, Prescription Drugs, Dental and Vision)
• Retirement Savings Plan (401K)
• Stock Options and Discount Stock Purchase Plan
• Income Protection Plan (Life and Disability Coverage)
• Management Bonus Plan
• Adoption Assistance Plan
• Domestic Partner Benefits
• Referral programs and support resources for child and eldercare
• Discounted Starbucks Merchandise
• Annual leave
• One pound of coffee per week
If you’re jobless by day and musician by night, employment under Starbucks is a quick fix and their coffee should keep you awake for the midnight to early morning jam sessions. Of course, this shouldn’t be a long term solution. You should always keep a backup plan, whether it’s learning to master tracks or attending day classes at your local college.
If you have any further companies that musicians could benefit from working at let us know in the comments below.