I’m a freelance art director and have been fortunate enough to have steady work for the last ten years at companies with good people. In the recent downturn it’s been a little bit up in the air, however. The agency I currently work for has lost their biggest client and will be out of business by the end of June. Until then, my days have been cut down. As my bank account dwindled, I started to feel more and more uneasy. I sent out resumes to places that were less than appealing because the availability of acceptable jobs were so few and far between. I tried to keep a positive attitude. So, early last week a headhunter called at 6pm asking me to go to a new place the next morning. I was uneasy because I was booked already at my current job for the next day. But here was a promise of continued work at this new place so I panicked and said yes. My current agency was none too happy, and I felt stuck between a rock and a hard place because I needed the promise of a steady paycheck.
So, I arrive at this massive campus of a place. All new and gorgeous, more security than a state dinner. Reflecting pools, fine art, gourmet food and the most boring work I’ve ever done in my life. I was given lots of type corrections and release kind of stuff. No design whatsoever. For the first day I thought maybe they were starting me out slow so I could get used to things, but by the third day I was starting to get pretty stir crazy. I longed for my old buddies and my old desk and the bad food in the cafeteria. I left on Friday night and went directly to my old agency and begged forgiveness for taking off without much notice (or like no notice at all). It occurred to me that I totally panicked because I had this idea that on June 30th I’d be living in a box on the street. Apparently, there’s a lot of work at my current agency and they will at least in the near future need me and my panic was unfounded.
So, after priding myself on being calm and cool in unstable freelance situations, I completely freaked out when I saw the storm clouds instead of having faith that the storm will pass like it always does. I learned an important lesson about faith and trusting my instincts that I wouldn’t soon forget.