Monday, October 5, 2015

Taking a Step Down (Career Wise)

I have worked in the entertainment industry since I was 25 years old. Started as a production assistant and did various things in production like, production coordinator, backstage manager, & script coordinator, before moving over in to post. I worked my way up post, from junior assistant editor, assistant editor, editor to finally where I have been the past 11 years post production supervisor. I enjoyed being a post production supervisor, it was a very stressful job but the pay was good so when I would work nine months out of the year I had plenty of money to survive those three months of no work and still enjoy my life.

Well all that changed a few years ago 2012 when a job ended and my life was kind of turned upside down, I just got out of a long term relationship and was selling our house. It required some fixing up before it could go on the market so I opted to not work and instead focus on getting the house ready to sale. I had a decent amount of savings so I could survive for a bit without work. After being off for six months and finally selling the house I attempted to get back out in the work force but things were slim. I found jobs that would last a few weeks here or a month there but nothing substantial. For the next two years 2013 and 2014 I worked a total of four months and my saving was gone and I was living off of credit cards. I was collecting unemployment but that soon ran out at the end of 2014 and I spiraled into debt.

I had been out of the industry for over two years and my connections had dried up and I just wasn't catching any breaks. That's when my friend Andrew, who I worked with over 12 years ago contacted me and asked if I was interested in taking on the role of a post production coordinator. Now they make about half the money that a post production supervisor makes but they also have half the stress.

So I had to decide.. do I take a step down in my career and if I did how would that effect me mentally, I didn't want to feel like I failed or that I was less then. I knew deep down that I had to that the job, I needed a steady pay check and this would give it to me (for a short while). I knew if I took this job I would make enough to cover my monthly bills but wouldn't really have much to put towards my debt.

But I did it.. I pushed my ego aside and told myself that this is only temporary, once this gig was over I'll look for a post production supervisor job and get back on track. Well this gig started at the end of February 2015 and was suppose to run until August 2015, but ran long and didn't end until mid October. In the middle of September while I was working my current show Andrew came to me and asked if I wanted to post production coordinate a new game show, this new show would run until December 2015.

Again I had to take a step back.. I've been at this lower position for eight months, the money is okay but lower stress level is great. I debated with myself on continuing my current position or declining the offer and look for a new gig as a post supervisor (with no guarantee).

In the end I did accept the second job so I will be employed until sometime in December. Which is a great feeling.

But the end is in sight and it doesn't look like they will have anything on the horizon so I'll be looking for work come December time. Now the question is do I want to continue to take it easy (stress wise) and continue to be a post production coordinator or should I venture out and try and find a post production supervisor job.

I have to admit I have really loved the less stress on my life but on the other hand the less money is tough, if I didn't have this large debt I think I would do another year at this lower level. I mean I'm happy with just making enough to cover bills and have a bit of extra for some fun from time to time and as I get older my body isn't a fan of all the stress. Maybe I do a few more years of post supervising to pay down my debt and then consider taking a less stressful job.

I don't know what I'm gonna do.. I still have a few months to figure out. I guess it will depend if I can find another job as a post coordinator or a post supervisor first.. right now I'd be happy with either.

I came across several quotes that explain what I have been doing the past year... "It's okay to take a step back and breathe" and " Taking a step back sometimes means preparing for a big jump forward"

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