Jump to content

contract V freelancing


Recommended Posts

I have a dilemma and I'm seeking advice.

After having spent the first few years of my career in producing theatre, I left to become freelance about 18 months ago.

I gave up theatre to work a couple of days a week (on average) in the conference industry. The reason for this was, as a mother to a small child I found theatre hours too unsociable. As a freelancer I have been able to pick and choose short job and make sure I don't miss important events for my daughter.

I have been lucky enough to get a few clients in the corporate world who are sympathetic to my situation, and regularly offer me short, local conferences. I get good hours and I'm happy.

The down side is that as a part time worker and full time mother, I often miss out on the usual freelance word of mouth jobs, I don't get offered long jobs or work that takes me away from home for long. This obviously means work is sporadic. Now, this isn't really a problem as my partner has been able to support us. But he has now decided to go freelance and we have no idea if we can pay the mortgage next month.

At the time he went freelance, which was when the tour he'd been on ended, I was offered a 6 week job in my local theatre. It happens to be one of the more prestigious theatres and not work you turn down if you want to progress in the industry. So I took it.

Now, here is the dilemma.

My contract ends in 2 weeks and they have offered to extend it to mid Feb. I have, today have a phone call from one of my best clients I freelance for, asking when I am available as there is lots of work coming up.

Now I am not sure who to say yes to. I would love to stay here in the theatre, as it's what I love. I would also like to know I can pay the bills till Feb, especially with Christmas round the corner. My partner has no work lined up, and we have no savings.

But I am worried that I will be out of the freelance circuit for too long, especially given that I do so little work as it is. If I'd been freelance for a long time, with lots of clients, then I would worry less. But I am relatively new. I am also new to the area, so I don't have many local contacts I can call on if I want to tout for more work.


I really don't know what to do. My instinct is to say no to the theatre and go back to freelancing. I earn more per day and spend more time at home, which is really what I should be doing. But do I turn down a regular income till Feb on the hope that enough work comes my way?

I guess I am asking, how long can one stay out of the freelance circle before you are forgotten?


I hope this doesn't sound long and totally pointless a question. But I really don't know what to do.

Thank you

Link to comment
Share on other sites


I don't think we are the ones to answer.


Forgive me for being blunt, but you seem to be the one who has two offers, and your partner none? If you really have a mortagge to pay, and you won't be able to, then I'd suggest you stick with the permanent but less paid job that has less risk - certainly for the moment. Why doesn't your partner do the childcare thing if he has nothing lined up.


Unless you can guarantee the freelance work will keep rolling in, you are stuck. The usual trick is that you need to buld up a buffer fund - that's what I have, then you use this to smooth out the cashflow - It's difficult to get up and running, but works fine.


I don't think we can really give this kind of advice as we are not privvy to (and shouldn't be) your real private finance and social circumstances. With a two adult household, it is a bit scary for both to be freelance - no signing on, sickness or pension.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey Lena


Not long and pointless at all...its nice to have a good read on my first evening off this week! Ive been freelancing with as many companies that will have me, fortunatley one of them offers me regular work that makes a welcome supplement to my full time income, however this is one thing that some do not have to fall back on. Its down to your circumstances that dictate your earnings. Presuming youve explored the avenues of asking a parent/good friend to look after little'un during the day, I think you or your partner may have to give up what you love doing (albeit temporarily) and look for any full time job only in the capacity of getting the cash. This enables the other one to 'stay in the loop' with whats going on as it seems you both have the same professional interests. During the summer holidays this year (I work in FE during the day) the freelancing was a little thin on the ground, and I worked with the caretaking dept throughout the holidays when I would rather be in the studio! At the end of the day, you will make the right choice where finances are concerned however you may have to just go for it....whatever you do, keep us posted!




BTW, at times of cashflow dilemmas during the loathed festive season (there have been a few), I have been deliberately frugle with cash, and my family and friends understand as not everyone has the luxury of splashing out every year. Why not have a very small xmas, and have a double whammy next December!


Good luck x

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From the point of view of forgetting freelance crew- It entirely depends how much work you put into keeping in touch with the other companies, and letting them know you're available for work come Feb (which will come round very quickly). Keep your self in their minds, and you should be ok. Disappear of the horizon and they may forget you.
Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.