Sooo, the experiment isn’t going too well! I can’t always blame it on the inefficiencies of the industry to re-employ working mothers but the situation is a bit like swimming in mud!
It’s worth pointing out that it is my choice not to pursue full time work for reasons previously explained (see blog post 1). If I moved in an au-pair and gave up irreplaceable time with my toddler then I’m sure I’d be cobbling together scripts in an edit right now..but the past couple of weeks have made me realise why I really can’t manage full time telly work.
I did dive in to the search for short full-time Edit Producing contracts and pretty quickly found myself a job. Said job was particularly extreme. A one week contract to EP an entire 1 hour show..I’d have gone in to 13/14 hour days , 7 days straight. That was fine, it’s only a week right? I really needed the credit so I gave a firm ‘yes’ and went off to sort the childcare out.
The medium height brick wall got a bit higher when my diary told me that my husband was in Germany for 3 days..oh, then he was on call for the other 3 days so I had to rule him out. That meant I had to sort out childcare for 6 full days from 9am to 11pm (at least). OK, I can do that. I have an nanny who works ad-hoc hours so I can do it..no problem. It would cost me (on a nanny buy out) around £150 a day..that’s £1000 for 7 days, I’d go on a weekly buy out..get that down to £750 hopefully. Fine, I needed the job, it’s only a week and all that. (I forgot to add the 2 days of nursery fees to that..eyes pop out).
I didn’t factor in the fact that the nanny may not have been available..she wasn’t..not for the whole thing anyway. She’s actually bagged herself a great full-time job too..so I’ve lost her entirely. Ouch.
So that was that. Probably not the easiest week of work being 6 months pregnant but it was only a week after all.
Then came the overnight EP job offer. Yes, give it to me, I’ll take that. “Sorry, it’s just gone”. Then a third, a weekends EP work this weekend? “Sorry..I’ve just got on a train which takes me away for that weekend” Arggghhh.
So. Here I sit. Unemployed and possibly unemployable. The Series Producer really did try to get me on this job, it was just my side of things that scuppered it this time. Without a family member nearby to step in quick sharp, it’s an absolute annoying pain in the arse to try and sort out short notice childcare.
So, back to the drawing board..I’m half heartedly looking for a part time EP jobs. My home life isn’t able to support short term contracts – this has become quite clear, not the full time ones anyway. As the weeks tick by it’s becoming less likely that I’ll actually be able to fit in to an edit suite..this huge baby I’m building is putting pressure on me in more ways than the obvious.
As I have’t EP’d for a while, just Gallery Directed..I’m not able to pick and choose what I can work on, I have to take what I’m given by those whom will give me a chance so that’s hugely narrowed my options. I do think Edit Producing is like riding a bike..I really haven’t forgotten how to do it. Have I? The 6457 bedtime stories I’ve read in various ‘tones’ and accents over the past 2 years have definitely honed my voice over skills (I actually considered putting this on my CV). Unfortunately, the 18 applications I’ve made over the past 3 weeks which are yet to receive a response tells a different story.
It seems like the more sensible option is to bow out gracefully on this job search, wait until I’m on the other side of child number 2 and then pick up the search for longer term job sharing contracts as originally planned. My fear with that is I’ll be 3 years out of Edit Producing. I’m rarely defeated…but…
If I could advise the pre-pregnant me I’d tell her to form good strong and long relationships with a handful of employers so you have a way back in post baby. I bounced around all over the place as then, it was good for my career but these jobs weren’t long enough to build relationships with the kind of people who have the kind of jobs you need when you’re coming back from maternity leave. I’d also tell her not to stick to one job for 2 years whilst bringing up that baby. Whilst it’s good for you at the time, it’s not healthy for your CV to have no variation. Mix it up love, that’s what you should have done..
So, whilst the job hunt continues I gathering positive blogs posts from Employers..we’ll be posting weekly stories from the super companies that are doing their bit to get parental talent back in the ‘pool’ so to speak..the slightly muddy whirlpool..