After graduating my film making university in London, I knew I didn't want to start my career as a freelancer. I didn't have filming skills of a professional level and I didn't have any connections that people would want to hire me on freelance basis. I wouldn't even want to hire myself!
So, I thought it would be wise to go for a fulltime job, start from scratch with the will to learn and start climbing up the ladder.
Jump in time, I have now worked over 5 years in TV Broadcast for documentaries and News. I want to share what I think the merits are for working full time.
1. Gaining Experience consistently
For three years, I worked as a production assistant. They taught me how to edit footage better, they sent me to multiple filming locations. I eventually became a director for small documentaries and main editor for that company as well. I was paid and I learned consistently, I learned more in one week working there than studying three years in a university. I learned a lot, because I had senior members in a company that will be your mentors.
2. Financial Security
I also had the comfortableness of having a secure income, which I don't think I would have achieved if I started as a freelancer with a low skill.
If you are a freelance and if you mess up a work, you may not get paid for it. It could really hurt your career and life as well. On the other hand, working in a company you can afford to make mistakes and learn from them at the risk of the company and still get paid at the end of month.
3. Building connection
I had built connections that lead me to the next better paying job. This industry works on who you know. I hate the phrase because it can exclude passionate people who want to get into the industry, but it is true. Through working for the company, I naturally built up connections in the industry without even trying.
4. It sets you up with professional skills to make the next career move
Your employability increases when you combine your experiences and skills. Your uniqueness comes from multiplication of your skills. The more you develop variety of skills, the more attractive you become to be hired in the next job.
If you work in a small TV production company, you will earn variety of skills. For example, I gained audio recording, editing skills, coordination skills, research skills, proposal skills and directing skills. This has helped me for the next career move.
"Jack of all trades, master of none" used to worry me for a while, but eventually, I became a cameraman. And all the skills I had learned plays a huge role in the work I do.
The above are what I consider to be the strong points for working full time in this industry. What do you think? Do you work full time or freelance? Let me hear your opinions!