I’ve not held what anyone would call a “normal” job for over ten years. I haven’t had a 52 week a year, 7 day a week, 8 hour a day career for, really, my entire adult life. That’s okay by me… it’s actually my choice. I’m easily bored and frankly hate knowing more or less precisely what I’ll be doing day in and day out for the foreseeable future. There’s nothing more terrifying than a long, flat, and clearly defined career path stretching unchanged into the future.
There’s one thing more terrifying… a fog shrouded, forested, barely defined career path that is nearly invisible and not marked with any type of discernible sign posts.
And that’s where I find myself, digging around poking bushes, and hoping that someone will come along with a map of some sort.
To fill you in, I’m a freelance costumer in the film industry. And yes that title is just as vague as it sounds. Ultimately, I’m a designer, hopefully building towards major motion pictures and t.v. series. But that’s all the way down this scary path, and there are so many forks in the road I’m not sure I’ll ever get there some days. I’ve had a lot of steps forward, and a few back… but I’m still wandering around just a little bit lost and hoping that I’m making good choices.
Most recently I had the good fortune to be offered some work on a rather great major network show. The original offer was for three weeks in a position that I’m not fond off, which is referred to as the “truck supervisor” (laundry, ridiculously early hours, long days, and taking crap from everyone), with possibility for further employment in a position that I much prefer. Half way through my three weeks, I was tentatively offered the truck position for the rest of the season (6 months of work in the film industry is about as close to job security as a person can get) and I found myself in a conundrum.
Would I take the very good money and secure pay in a position I neither enjoy nor find my strong suit… or would I walk back out into the woods of uncertainty?
Several factors came into play in my decision. The show is great, the crew friendly, the actors lovely, most of my department a delight to work with and people I could learn a lot from. The position owns your life, leaves you physically and emotionally drained, gives you about 1.5 days off a week. Every decision has its pros and cons. And it basically came down to this:
Would keeping this position make me happy… probably not. So if not, would I feel it was advancing my career or teaching me skills that I needed and didn’t already have… also, not so much.
So I did the unthinkable.
I very politely responded that I was probably not the best choice to take the position for the full season, and walked away from the job.
So here I am, wandering on this bloody overgrown path hoping another fork in the road will appear to take me a little further on towards my goal… I could really use a flashlight.