Freelancing in TV – liberating or lonely?

Here at Talented People we talk a lot about the lack of support and training for freelancers in telly. From the moment you get your first runner job, to the SP contract you land (not an actual paper contract of course, that’d be madness), you’re flying solo when it comes to networking, where to find jobs, which is the right job for your CV or even asking for the right rate. What should you do when two job-flavoured buses come along at once? Why aren’t you getting the right calls? What do you do about that bully of a boss?

Freelancers are often worried to ask anyone for help – it’s an industry based on sounding like you know what you’re talking about at all times, or else you might come across as high maintenance. But behind it all, we’re all as clueless as each other at various points in our career – so it’s ok to ask for advice. Isn’t it?

Since Rosie and I have been talent managing, we’ve built relationships with so many talented people who are often extraordinarily grateful when we give our independent view. It’s one of the best part of our jobs – we don’t just find great people for companies to employ, we also guide people of all levels of seniority in their career choices (yes, even at Exec level you’re still making it up as you go along!).

But for so many, life as a freelancer remains a lonely place – where after a crazy contract of 16 hour days, suddenly you’re jobless again having had no time to think about your next step. That pit of the stomach why-has-no-one-viewed-my-talent-manager-profile-and-I-can’t-be-out-of-work-much-longer feeling inevitably sneaks up on you when you are suffering from a bout of snuffly post-shoot-itis too…

We think it’s time that changed, don’t you?

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How do you feel being freelance? Does the freedom outweigh the worry? Or do you find it the hardest bit? How do you think the industry could support you better? Let us know in the comments below.

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