Another freelance gig ends and it is time to say goodbye to my co-workers, clients, subjects, office and project… again. Quite frankly, I had grown weary of this latest project. And the client’s demands were sounding more and more outrageous. But I liked my co-workers and I loved my office even more. The truth is, even when I don’t generally like an assignment, it is still hard to say goodbye to a job that have given my all.
I usually miss the people the most. When you’ve worked 8-to-10 hours a day with a crew or spent weeks and months getting to know your interview subjects, it is hard to just pack your things and leave without looking back. I’ve said enough goodbyes to know that after the first few weeks of follow up about how is the new baby or did your house finally sell, chances are the contact will soon dwindle out. But every once in a while, a strong connection emerges.
Whether crew or interviewee, I always send a thank you note because you never know when you may need to call on that person again. I like to send notes via snail mail. Who doesn’t like to hold an envelope in their hands and open a piece of mail that is not a bill? For me, ending on a positive note has paid off. There are several guest experts that I have booked on different shows and several former colleagues have offered me gigs.
On the other side of saying goodbye is saying hello –hello to new projects, new people and new schedules. Every time I start a new gig, it takes a while to get the hang of the routine and, to adjust to the effects on my family and home life. Sometimes saying hello means proving all over again that I can do a job well despite being the new kid on the block, being a mother or previously working on shows of a different type than what I’ve been hired to do. I dislike this “pledge” period so much that the hellos have become almost as hard as the goodbyes. On the other hand, I’ve made some valuable friends and contacts on most freelance jobs and try to concentrate on the prospect of making more. Not to mention that on each job, I learn something new about the world, producing and even myself.
The best scenarios are the ones when I work repeatedly for the same client. The goodbyes are a little less painful because I know that there is a good chance that I will be back. And the hellos are always fun because I get to reconnect with former colleagues with whom I enjoy working. However, it’s a bummer when I return to find a permanent staff member who I’ve come to rely on has said goodbye in my absence. It rocks some of the stability that I’ve come to count on in my ever changing profession.