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?