Huge career dilemma, who else but EG Massive to help me decide?

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  • Deleted user 22 January 2009 15:47:26
    Sorry, wall of text, get a blog, etc... ;)

    So I'm sitting here today with a huge career dilemma to make. I'm currently freelance as a cameraman and photographer. In terms of my bread and butter, TV camerawork, my first two years as a freelancer have been good - although it's looking like this year I'm down ten grand on what I made in my first year but still that's a comfortable amount of money. I need to cover 60% of the rent and pretty much all the bills as Ms ED209's current salary is a bit lacking till she's promoted later this year.

    However, work prospects for me could be pretty rough this year. Barely anything is happening at the moment but then that's nothing new in this industry. I need 5 or 6 days a month to break even. I've got 7 dates booked between now and the end of March and enough money in from the bunch of work I had in November and December to easily see me through till then without touching the savings. After that, though, is anyone's guess. I haven't been around long enough to have loads of contacts and everyone I know that's in a similar position is equally bleak about their diaries. My more successful friends are themselves only just breaking even at the moment with no idea what's to come, but that's the risk you take freelancing. It could all change by April with a some healthy calls coming in and all the pressure taken off me, or it might not happen at all and we're into my savings (which could keep me going for a year without any work whatsoever, but that's it).

    So here's the dilemma: one of the companies I usually freelance for just offered me a staff job operating for them as they're going to stop using freelancers so much this year in an effort to cut losses. It's a bit of a step backwards and sideways as it's considerably less money than I've been used to for the past two years, for a lot more working hours, but means I can keep my head above water for the next year and I like the people there.

    The problem is that I've been hammering away at contacts to get my unit stills photography up and running, with meetings at the BBC, with PR agencies, etc. I know they need new people and I know that I'm good at what I do in that field, but I don't know how much work I'll get out of it this year or even when it'll start coming in. If I take this job they'll be as flexible as they can be fitting other stuff around my rota but essentially I'm not going to have anywhere near as much time to pursue the contacts, go to meetings, do freebies to build up my portfolio etc, and if (when) they start ringing me with occasional days here and there, chances are I won't be available at short notice.



    Obviously the sensible boring easy option is TAKE THE BLOODY JOB! But it's not as simple as that. What would you do?
  • Popzeus 22 Jan 2009 15:48:32 8,289 posts
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    /stealth "I work in TV" thread

    Currently playing: Standing In A Car Park Simulator 2013

  • Deleted user 22 January 2009 15:49:39
    Get a job selling ice cream
  • Deleted user 22 January 2009 15:50:28
    Popzeus wrote:
    /stealth "I work in TV" thread
    And film, don't forget that! Working with Charisma Carpenter next week :)
  • Popzeus 22 Jan 2009 15:50:35 8,289 posts
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    (serious answer: I'd take the staff job for the financial security it offers. If you're the main breadwinner in your home, is it really worth risking the freelance work drying up, on the offchance that you might get a big payday at some point?)

    Currently playing: Standing In A Car Park Simulator 2013

  • Deleted user 22 January 2009 15:50:42
    Who?
  • deem 22 Jan 2009 15:51:05 31,641 posts
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    In the current climate, I'd go for the job.

    Ask for more money though.
  • Deleted user 22 January 2009 15:51:22
    Popzeus wrote:
    (serious answer: I'd take the staff job for the financial security it offers. If you're the main breadwinner in your home, is it really worth risking the freelance work drying up, on the offchance that you might get a big payday at some point?)
    Thanks - sensible answer, well put. :)
  • Deleted user 22 January 2009 15:52:18
    deem wrote:
    In the current climate, I'd go for the job.

    Ask for more money though.
    /marks another tick on the 'JOB' list.

    Nobody I've asked so far has made anything like a compelling case for not taking it...
  • spindizzy 22 Jan 2009 15:52:25 6,434 posts
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    MrED209 wrote:
    Popzeus wrote:
    /stealth "I work in TV" thread
    And film, don't forget that! Working with Charisma Carpenter next week :)

    I wuv her.

    From what you've said you should probably take the job. Apart from anything else, it sounds like you need some more contacts to be able to survive freelance, and the job might help with that? You can always go freelance again later.
  • monkeyspasm 22 Jan 2009 15:52:33 2,774 posts
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    Yeah, I'd take the job too - wouldn't risk it atm as the others have said.
  • jellyhead 22 Jan 2009 15:52:41 24,350 posts
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    What would i do? No idea but I want to start training as a tv cameraman if you only need to work 1 or 2 days a week ;_;

    Seriously, i'd consider taking it, if they're cutting back for a year on freelancers and there's no guarantee that you're one of the ones they'll use i'd take the more secure job for a year over the gamble of having to cane your savings later on.

    Tricky though, don't envy your choice but at least you have a choice to make i suppose.

    This signature intentionally left blank.

  • Pooley 22 Jan 2009 15:54:21 1,507 posts
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    The way the economy is at the moment, I'd say take the job for a year, or at least until the economy is healthy again. Depends how much you value your savings I suppose. What are your other freelancing friends doing long term?
  • smoothpete 22 Jan 2009 15:54:26 31,459 posts
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    What deem said. A job in the hand is worth 2, er, unemployments.. in the thingy. Whatever.
  • moggsy 22 Jan 2009 15:55:29 3,860 posts
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    On the other hand a regular job may completely sap all of the creativity and enthusiasm you currently have for your work and leave you a shrivelled up bitter old man. Just saying.
  • deem 22 Jan 2009 15:55:52 31,641 posts
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    MrED209 wrote:
    deem wrote:
    In the current climate, I'd go for the job.

    Ask for more money though.
    /marks another tick on the 'JOB' list.

    Nobody I've asked so far has made anything like a compelling case for not taking it...

    Well, from where I'm sitting, the only reason to not take it, would be that in some fields, freelancers are much preferred in tough times to actually employing somebody and them having a contract, even if the day rate is much higher. Use them when you really need to, don't when you don't.

    Much simpler and cheaper than employing someone full-time.

    How secure would the job be? It'd be a bit of a fucker if they had top lay you off after 3 months.
  • Lukus 22 Jan 2009 15:56:07 19,037 posts
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    Is there any way you could come to an arrangement with your potential employer that would enable a certain amount of leeway with regards to doing the occasional bit of freelance work? Also, ask for more money, the worst they can do is say no. And withdraw their offer.

    Paintings & Photographs

  • LeoliansBro 22 Jan 2009 15:56:11 43,641 posts
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    No kids? Gamble. Kids? Get the full time job.

    LB, you really are a massive geek.

  • Deleted user 22 January 2009 15:56:45
    Seems like a trick question, anyway, take the job.
  • MoFo 22 Jan 2009 15:58:51 276 posts
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    Avoid getting a normal job at all costs. You don't get to choose your hours. The pay sucks. You have no control over your destiny or your work. And it's much harder to get out of a standard job once you're back in it. All the most awake and creative hours of the day are sucked out of you. You'll soon come to live to the limits of your income and never be able to save for "the day that'll I'll strike it out on my own again." Trust me I'm there and it sucks. Used to be freelance. Used to have my own company. Now I'm skint working for someone else and I can't see a way out.

    Seriously if I had enough savings to get by for a year I'd be out of my regular job in the blink of an eye. Use all that free time you have to drum up contacts.
  • Deleted user 22 January 2009 16:00:41
    moggsy wrote:
    On the other hand a regular job may completely sap all of the creativity and enthusiasm you currently have for your work and leave you a shrivelled up bitter old man. Just saying.
    That's a distinct possibility as I before being freelance I was staff at a similar studio for 3 years and of course the politics and the rot does set in after a while but to be honest it can be the same on freelance gigs you do regularly.
  • henro_ben 22 Jan 2009 16:00:51 2,215 posts
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    Go for the job! I gave up freelancing last year when things first started to look iffy with the economy. Yes, I earn a bit less... but on the plus side my evenings/weekends are now free and generally speaking my life is free of the financial uncertainty of being a freelancer.
  • Deleted user 22 January 2009 16:01:23
    Leolian'sBro wrote:
    No kids? Gamble. Kids? Get the full time job.
    No kids.
  • nickthegun 22 Jan 2009 16:02:43 59,343 posts
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    You already almost answered your own question when you said 'we offered you the job because we are cutting down on freelancers'.

    Its happening all over the industry.

    Go back with a counter wage proposal, take the job and suck it up for a few years until the industry settles itself again.

    This year was going to be 'the year' I went freelance, but now is it buggery.

    ---------------------------------------------------------
    He totally called it

  • moggsy 22 Jan 2009 16:02:52 3,860 posts
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    MrED209 wrote:
    moggsy wrote:
    On the other hand a regular job may completely sap all of the creativity and enthusiasm you currently have for your work and leave you a shrivelled up bitter old man. Just saying.
    That's a distinct possibility as I before being freelance I was staff at a similar studio for 3 years and of course the politics and the rot does set in after a while but to be honest it can be the same on freelance gigs you do regularly.

    I hate my job - I've not progressed in the 8 years I've worked here. In a way I wish they'd make me redundant so I could do some form of career reboot. I get paid too much to be able to fall on my sword.
  • Deleted user 22 January 2009 16:03:19
    Pooley wrote:
    The way the economy is at the moment, I'd say take the job for a year, or at least until the economy is healthy again. Depends how much you value your savings I suppose. What are your other freelancing friends doing long term?
    Those that have enough contacts here and there to get by do just that - they get by and hope for the day when a reasonably long engagement comes their way. However, most of my friends have been freelance several years longer than me with better contacts in their past and several semi-regular "day here, day there" gigs to keep them ticking over.

    I too could tick over like that for a few months but those savings aren't much over ten grand and if I get to the end of the year having used most of them, where do I go from there?
  • Popzeus 22 Jan 2009 16:04:15 8,289 posts
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    some money > no money

    Currently playing: Standing In A Car Park Simulator 2013

  • beachedvinyl 22 Jan 2009 16:04:15 303 posts
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    take the job. 2009 is all about getting through it. it'll be worse before its better. squeeze the unit stuff around it best you can.

    /works in tv
  • Deleted user 22 January 2009 16:06:18
    beachedvinyl wrote:
    take the job. 2009 is all about getting through it. it'll be worse before its better. squeeze the unit stuff around it best you can.

    /works in tv
    MTV?
  • Super_Zee 22 Jan 2009 16:09:57 2,110 posts
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    MrED209 wrote:
    ...but means I can keep my head above water for the next year and I like the people there.
    The way things are at the moment, I think this is the most important part of your post. Just take the job and get through this year, the fact that you like the people is a huge bonus. You'll be able to pick up your freelance projects in 2010, and hopefully you'll be in a far better financial position.
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