Carlos Perez on working in the gig economy and learning to say no

On any given day Carlos Perez could be working in the Rutgers area, the Hudson country area or even New York City.

Perez runs his own sound company, Bushwick Sounds, which produces corporate and music events.

“My main line of work is corporate AV,” he said. “Music, theater, and more creative productions are other types work I do during off seasons or weekends. I also freelance for many larger companies throughout the country.”

What he enjoys most about his career is the ability to work in different types of productions so he is always improving his skills.

“No two events are the same, so it forces us to be sharp, and learn as many techniques as we can,” he said. “It’s great to not have a boss to satisfy and tell me how to do my job, but it is also stressful at times because all the pressure is on me. I appreciate the responsibility though, it shows people trust me and I never let that go unappreciated. It’s also great to have this much flexibility. My lifestyle certainly needs it.”

Unlike a typical 9–5 job, he said, he can’t come home and forget about work.

“But I think it’s for good reason that I care so much about it,” he said. “I’m sure my idea of it is not reality, because I know myself and I know I’d grow frustrated with a 9–5 day to day.”

He believes that the hardest part of this work is overcommitment. “Since there’s nothing set in stone, no rules to tell you when you work and how long you work, I tend to seize every opportunity possible,” he said. “I’m learning how to start saying no to jobs, to remind myself that I need to set some time aside for myself, family, and relationships.”