Claire Kreger-Boaz is a Senior Project Manager for the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Public Affairs and Government Relations and The NAMM Foundation. Claire fights for music education and helps bring college students to The NAMM Show to open their eyes to all the opportunities for creating a career in the music industry.
She hopes The NAMM Show experience will help students consider new paths in their career they may not have considered or known about before attending the show.
“Just start out being curious. Just be curious about everything. Ask questions. And that is what that experience is designed to do by bringing them to the show and that is a primary objective of mine and my daily work.”
Find out how Claire follows her passion in the Find Your Passion Career Podcast
Claire began her career journey at Montclair State University as an English literature major. She had a love for poetry, romanticism and lyricism and wanted to create things that gave people a similar feeling to what she experienced when studying the classics.
Although she was actively writing her own poetry and work, when she graduated she didn’t know how this passion would translate into a career.
“I still didn’t know how to channel this desire for artistic expression with real world needing to earn money realities.”
Connecting passion and the “real world”
After going to bartending school and moving to Alaska—documenting her experience all the while—she found her way to San Diego where she worked as a Production Assistant for Greenhaven Press. In this position she felt she was able to integrate creativity into her career.
She worked her way up in that company until she left to work for a well-known literary agent. However, she realized the intense, cut-throat environment was not the experience or career path she wanted for herself.
“I wasn’t living my truth of how I wanted this world to be and so I left that job.”
Claire then returned to the Greenhaven Press family under Black Birch Press as a Content Editor. She moved on to work in higher education as an Associate Sponsoring Editor where she managed over a million dollar budget for producing learning products and e-textbooks. However, 2014 brought with it big cuts for the company and Claire found herself included in the wave. This unexpected turn left Claire feeling lost in her career journey.
Finding courage to ask for feedback
Shocked and unclear of what her next career move would be, she reached out to friends, family and even casual acquaintances to ask for feedback on how they viewed her strengths.
“I need a little help rebuilding my self-confidence. Tell me the qualities that you see in me that could possibly transfer to another type of career.”
The feedback she received helped her change her thought process in what skills she possessed and how they could transfer to other career paths.
“I learned how to talk about my skills instead of saying I’m an editor, I’m a writer, I’m a publisher…I started to be able to say I’m a content creator, I know how to curate content, I’m a project manager.”
This new language and mindset shift led her to apply with The NAMM Foundation where she was able to connect the dots of her content and management expertise with her role.
On the podcast, Claire explains she considers her work something she gets to do rather than has to do. At The 2019 NAMM Show, Claire lead the foundation in creating a one-of-a-kind experience in which students and music educators had the opportunity to sing along with iconic, Grammy Award winning composer Eric Whitacre.
“What I get to do is give people an experience like that. They walk out of the room and say, ‘that was a spiritual experience for me.’”
On the podcast, Claire encourages you to reach out to those around you when you feel stuck or unsure of next steps as she did when seeking a new direction.
“I come at this college journey into career into life experience in some really heavy ways. And all of the points at which I was a crossroads, I reached out to someone.”
Be courageous enough to ask for this feedback from loved ones and people of influence in your life. Listen in and learn from Claire on how you can approach the career journey with curiosity and an open mind.
Once you’re inspired by Claire’s story we would love to read your review. Thanks so much!