Hi everyone, Happy New Year, and what a year it was!

For most of us, it was a mixture of super-busy while mentally recovering from the terrible year before. Quite a lot of us are feeling burnt out, jaded and understandably apprehensive about 2022. 

We want to start by saying that it’s ok; in fact, Jo and I are feeling exactly the same way. It’s ok to own your reaction to what was (and still is) an extremely difficult and unpredictable time in our lives. 

As we have always said though it’s our response to these things that matters. Acknowledge, Accept and Adjust! This is going to be our New Year’s mantra and we hope you also will find it helpful.

Life HAS been hard for us all but in January we have the time period people typically like to better and motivate themselves so let’s use that as our starting point to change our minds too. We can approach 2022 in any way we please and we understand everyone’s trepidation after last year’s perhaps over-zealous predictions, but we have the power to create all the possibilities in our worlds and make 2022 a positive and fulfilling year. 

So, how do we do this? Well, first we look at our last few years and appreciate the difficulties we have been through and the lessons we have learned. Then we accept that we can’t change the past events and appreciate the fact we have survived them possibly even against the odds. Then we agree to adjust the things that need to change for us to let go and move forward.  Just making that decision to let it go will make you feel stronger and once you do you will free yourself up to begin 2022 with the excitement that a new year of possibilities deserves!

With all of that in mind, we’re delighted to be able to answer the following questions and hope that our answers prove useful and thought-provoking.  You can email us your own questions at the address below.

Q: I still want to stay in the same area of TV but would like a change as I feel I’ve done everything I have wanted in my current area of camerawork and am starting to feel a bit stale. Any suggestions? 

I really like this question because you are acknowledging that maybe it’s time for change and you are willing to do something about it, so that’s the first hurdle completed – brilliant and well done!

When it comes to deciding what areas may be for you there are a few things you can do. Firstly I would sit down and write a list or sketch out a mindmap (love these either with a good old fashioned notebook & pen or there are a few good apps too that are great fun) of all the things in TV that you enjoy and are excited by still or that inspire you.  And then compile another list of all your current skill sets.  This is a great way to get a feel for what may be the right area because although you might need to either re-train or take a step back you might be surprised at how much you already know and the skills you have acquired over the years. 

Do you want to stay doing a technical job? Or do you want to move to a more administrative role, perhaps you need to consider whether your age could be a deciding factor with regards to the physical capabilities of a different type of camera work? These are things that will be good to write down too. Then after those lists sit with it for a bit look at how you have answered and eventually make another list (yes, I do love writing stuff down) of possible job or area ideas after your first two lists. Go mad, just write down anything that comes into your head no matter how stupid or outlandish it may feel- get it out there and on paper because you can dismiss anything that’s not right for you, later. 

I feel pretty sure if you do this you will have some great ideas to contemplate and research and then eventually try out and see if they are the right fit.

Remember, there are no right or wrong ideas and you may need to experiment a little before finding what you are looking for but that’s all part of the fun. Good Luck! – Liz

Q: I’m about to have a baby and have been happily freelancing for 10 years so would like some tips on maintaining my career without sacrificing time with my child, knowing you often have to say yes to maintain client relationships. Any suggestions would help! 

Firstly, huge congratulations! I’m assuming this is your first child given the question so that’s really exciting stuff.

My first piece of advice would be not to overthink it and have it ruin the buildup to what will be the most wonderful experience of your life. It’s very easy to spend all your time worrying about what might be and not enjoy what is! I have to say this is probably one of the most common complaints though about being freelance and I think pretty much everyone reading this will relate to as overworking affects staffers too. Now, the million-dollar answer is not one that everyone is going to like because it’s about you changing your perspective on it. 

When it comes to overworking generally it’s done through fear and not saying no when you absolutely know you should. It can become a vicious cycle really because the more you work when you don’t want to, the unhappier you are at home and then consequently continue to work more! Yes, it doesn’t make sense but as humans, we hate saying no and we hate changing! But here is the best thing you will ever do for your work-life balance; let go! Stop and just pause, take yourself out the loop and view it from an outside vantage. 

Generally, I operate on a level of two simple questions:  Do I want to do this job? and Am I actually really available? (as in I don’t have other plans that I don’t want to miss).  It’s not always easy to really answer these honestly but if you work on the basis that “if I weren’t worried or anxious about never working again with this particular client, would I do the job?”. Also I may point out that we never really know what if any repercussions will be and you may never get asked again even if you do the job, so weigh the decision up on value. Is the thing or time with people I love worth the job? Often you will say no and therefore need to be brave and trust your own ability and skills.
Of course, I’m not saying you will never make sacrifices again once you have a child, but I am saying that you should make sure you are balanced within that decision and sometimes learn to say No. – Jo

Happy New Year to you all from Liz & Jo @ Fusion Film and TV / EqUa Coaching.

If you too would like your questions answered by Jo and Liz then email info@equacoaching.com