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Business. Industry...or Craft?

How do you see what you do? Business. Industry...or Craft?

My son Kevin and his friends Scott and Vince are making a documentary about a musician. One of the people they have interviewed makes a distinction between the music business and the music industry.

The music business, he says, is a supportive community of artists, venues, and fans. The local music store, such as the Princeton Record Exchange here in central New Jersey, is a part of the music business economy that thrives on promoting local talent.

The music industry, he says, is always looking for "the next big thing" that can be sold. To the industry, talent is a commodity that generates profits.

The musician, meanwhile, is honing his craft...and making his art...for his own self-expression, and for the delight of his audiences.

Since I am the proud papa of the budding filmmaker, and because I have been viewing many rough cuts of this film over the past year, I've been pondering this distinction.

Business. Industry. Craft.

Does it make a difference that matters?

Since job search is a great time for introspection, I think it's useful for a transitioner to think on all three dimensions:

What business are you in? This is your occupation (what occupies your time and attention). For example, I am in the Training business, training Managers and Supervisors to be more effective and engaging in their leadership roles.

What industry are you a part of? For me the industry, as defined by the Federal government (in the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system), is Professional Training and Development.

What is your craft? This may be the hardest to pin down. In my case, I would say it is facilitation, helping people to discuss an issue, solve a problem, reach a decision, or learn a skill by designing and leading them through a conversational process. That, like a musician and his music, is what I create.

How do you see what you do?

Note: Here is the trailer for their upcoming film, called Paid Driver for Hire:

Note: Here is a link to learn more about the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system:

Posted by Terrence Seamon on Saturday March 22, 2014

Terrence H. Seamon is a consultant who provides leadership and team development services to organizations. His book Lead the Way explores the challenges of leadership. Additionally, Terry is a job search and career coach whose book To Your Success provides a motivational guide for anyone in transition. His third book, Change for the Better, provides leaders with a guide to initiating, and navigating through, organizational change. Terry co-founded and co-moderates the St. Matthias Employment Ministry in Somerset, NJ. His free whitepaper on job search and transition, called "Galvanize Into Action," is available by sending him an email request. He can be reached at and via his website:

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