Monday, September 29, 2008

It's Different For Us Freelancers.

I'm willing to bet that most of you suffer moderate to extreme anxiety when you join the ranks of the unemployed. Not me. I'm out of a job this morning and I'm positively giddy.

But then, I'm used to it. I've been newly unemployed dozens and dozens of time. It's the way freelancing works. It's truly a joy to finish a job and know that aside from a few phone calls and emails, I won't have to worry about this movie any more. I've got two more paychecks coming my way. One of those is the DGA mandated "Completion of Assignment" check. That's an additional week's pay I get just for being a Guild member (sort of like severance pay).

I've spoken to one producer about a job that might start the middle of next month, but really, a job isn't a job until someone tells you you're actually on it. So, truthfully, I have no idea if I'll ever work again. I'm used to that too. Disclaimer: No, I don't actually believe that I'll never work again...that would suck and I'd starve and be homeless and lots of other bad stuff. But I'll wait a couple of weeks before starting to feel at all anxious over it.

I've been kind of dwelling on the parts of freelancing that might make a normal person queasy, but there are some great things too.

You know that feeling when you get an interview for a new job?
Or that feeling when you've aced an interview?
Or that feeling when you hear you got the job?
Or that feeling when you start the new job and everything is shiny and filled with nothing but possibilities?

I get to feel those things over and over and over again.

In the meantime, I'm going to let my inner-sloth take over for the next week or so.


Janiece said...

I'd be seriously ill after a year of such uncertainty.

I just couldn't take the stress.

But I'm glad you like it!

Random Michelle K said...

Ye Gods. I'd freak out after a month of that.

I like security.

I hate job hunting.

I'm not overly fond of starting new jobs.

I'm glad you like your job, because I'd have gone bug-fuck crazy after a couple weeks!

vince said...

I've been doing basically that for 21 years. Now, I have clients who've been with me for years, some pretty much since I started. But I never know when someone will call, what they'll need, or whether it'll be a $25 job or $2500 job. And to be honest, the most stress comes when I'm overloaded with work that all needs to be done yesterday, which is kinda what the last few weeks have been like.

But it would take a lot for me to trade it for a corporate job. No dressing up. No bosses. Clients I can fire.

Downside is mainly benefits. Health insurance is way expensive, and there is no such thing as regular time off, although I do go on vacation every year.

But the thought of being an employee ever again is one I try not to dwell on.

Ilya said...

College-years jobs notwithstanding, I've only changed jobs twice in my entire life. I'm an ultimate corporate drone, in that respect.

Still, a healthy doze of envy towards you, Nathan. And you, too, Vince.

Jim Wright said...

You could always apply for a job at Dominoes.

:::runs away::laughing:::

Anonymous said...

Jim, why, because that would be like a vacation too? Because obviously, in New York, it doesn't entail any actual WORK.

Nathan, I am glad your schedule energizes you but I, too, would probably not do well with the insecurity. I'd be pretty worried about money all the time - plus, I get the sense it's feast or famine - 80 hour weeks vs 0 hour weeks and I prefer my 45-50 hour schedules, thankyouverymuch.

Steve Buchheit said...

That's the reason why I still do a day job, I just can't handle the "being out of work" times.