I’ve been studying and freelancing in audio for over a year now and the reality of the industry is becoming more apparent in the fact that it’s an especially hard market to survive in. Before starting I seriously underestimated just how challenging the media projects would become and just how sparse the demand for jobs can be. For me at the moment in the earlier days the pay is often low and the risk of investment is high, usually without any guarantee of money returning (there is often no guarantee the job will be profitable, though the experience is always profitable!)
The ratio of hours to income at the moment is scary and highlights the fact that being able to produce work quickly, efficiently and inspiringly takes careful time management and dedication. The trade-off of working quickly is that it can sometimes compromise quality, trying to balance this is a key aspect of getting further work and supporting your living and expenses.
One thing that has stuck in my head this week was an industry expert saying that, “most of the time you won’t be working on projects you like, but to be successful you need find interest in your work.” Having this mindset leads to producing better quality work and also enables you to sustain longer working hours, as we all know working on something of no interest gets mundane pretty quickly and is reflected in your work. It’s a frightening reality that you may never get to pick and choose what you work on, but the sooner you can shift perspectives and embrace this thought process, the more chance you will have at succeeding.
I know for me there is the constant thought lingering that if I can’t manage to produce work to meet client briefs quickly and effectively, I may end up not working in the audio industry. Luckily for me I’ve had my fair share of shit jobs and will try my best to not go back to my old trades, I know trying to find interest in my old jobs was a case of trying to fool myself.
The only way I see forward is to take on as much work as possible, free or paid, and think about what I can contribute every time I am given an opportunity. Keeping an open mind, being flexible and not letting your ego get in the way is crucial to a long lasting career.