Apparently I’m looking for a new job, but for some reason it doesn’t feel like it. It’s not always on my mind, I don’t spend hours each day trawling the relevant websites and listings, and I haven’t sent out my CV once. In short I’m not being particularly active about it. But I’m definitely doing it.
A little background for you: I am an edit assistant at a large post house in Soho working on a variety of projects as a cog in the machine. My aim is to become an offline editor on factual and documentary programmes by way of gaining freelance assistant editor work and ‘getting noticed’ that way. I’m very experienced in the data processing, technical, troubleshooting side of post production and I’d like to improve my creative storytelling side, but I’m not in a rush. I like my current job; I love the people I work with, enjoy the projects I work on, like the people I work for and I have a fairly good wage, so there’s nothing pushing me to leave unlike many of my friends who have taken that leap. Because of that I’ve decided to take my time, not be rushed, and therefore minimise the risks. People I’ve met know my domino analogy: I’m piece by piece setting up dominoes – fixing up my website for a start, learning things, making contacts – so that when the time is right I should be able to push the first domino and everything will just fall into place. A lovely fantasy I guess but it’s something to work towards.
What I do need to be wary of is that it doesn’t become an excuse for being slow. I know I need to move on in order to progress, I guess I just have a fear of change, a fear of failure (not finding enough work to be financially viable), and a fear of getting stuck doing something I don’t like. I am not looking to be doing the same job as now but on a freelance basis – it isn’t all about the money. I want to be doing something different; I want to be working more on a specific programme than on many, making sync pulls, groups, basic assemblies and so on, learning the craft of documentary storytelling so I can go on to help create programmes such as 24 Hours in A&E, the Educating… series, and Attenborough-esque documentaries.
Whilst literally finishing that last sentence I got a message asking if I was free for an edit next Monday! An ex colleague had recommended me! Sadly I’m busy, but the thought of it put butterflies in my stomach and made me feel excited. I think that is the feeling I am waiting for. When I get that again and am able to say yes, even for an assistant role, then I will feel like this is actually happening. But this just reiterates my point; I am only going to move for the right job, assisting on a single programme, preferably of the factual or documentary variety. Otherwise moving jobs at this stage is largely pointless.
I’ve had this feeling before; when I received my A level results and went to Uni it didn’t really hit me until the spring when I was walking across campus and I looked around me at all the other students going to their lectures as I went to one of mine – suddenly I smiled and felt a warmth of happiness flow over me, when I got my first job in TV for Maverick TV I wasn’t excited about it until I was already there, when I moved to London it took a while for me to click that I had made it to ‘The Big Smoke’, but in hindsight all of these things were big steps that I felt really good about, just maybe not when I thought I would. I guess i’m just a bit emotionally delayed.