Job Offer I Don’t Want

A Canadian reader wrote in–

I recently moved to a big city in Canada to work in the film/tv industry. I graduated from uni last year and I thought I wanted to do editing. Then I did editing at a small company in my hometown and realized that it was not what I dreamed it would be. So I moved to the big city and joined the Guild (paid the fee) to be an apprentice AD. I have yet to be called into work on set, but I had a very promising interview, with a followup scheduled this week, for a reality TV editing job. Full time gig. But it’s not really what I want to do.

If I get the editing job, do I take it and postpone my set dreams another year or do I turn it down and keep working at a well-known coffee company and putting myself on availability lists for the guild? City life ain’t cheap, but I don’t want to shoot myself in the foot career-wise/get sucked into a black hole of job hate. Any advice?

First, I should say I am not familiar with Canada at all. I cannot tell you what the odds are of getting a job through the guild. You seem to be describing a traditional union, like the UAW, or the second season of The Wire.

Say what you will, I LIKED the second season.
Seniority sucks.

Here in America, film unions are more like loose associations that give you insurance when you pay your dues. There’s no guild hall where everyone hangs out, waiting for their next gig.

That being said, my general inclination is to take the job you’re offered. You never know when/if you’ll get another offer that you want. Remember, an interview is not a job.

And heck, maybe you just had a bad experience. Not everyone’s first job is all hugs and puppies.

Or puppy hugs.

Sometimes your first job involves cleaning dildos.

But that was one job. Maybe you’ll love editing at this next place. Also, who knows what opportunities it will open up in the future? Reality shows are very fluid. Maybe you can transition into a production role.

Having goals is great, but don’t ignore the present while hoping for a brighter future.

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3 Responses

  1. Completely agree. I’d take the job offered. (A bird in the hand they say) Editing jobs, which are more coveted than on-set jobs, in the long run will also pay more. When you start out in the business you’ll have less choice about the jobs you choose, and later that will change.

    Also, once you’re in with a good company you are more likely to build solid connections to move laterally if you chose to. It’s taken me years to get work on-set in a role of some authority in Canadian TV, but I’ve never applied for the Guild (which I thought was an org created mostly to supply group health care than jobs offers).

  2. Basic rule of thumb is never give up a definite (and it sounds like good) job for the better one you don’t have. It’s not like there is even an apprentice AD interview out there right now. My suggestion would be take this gig – instinct is that apprenticeship will still be out there when it’s over – and wh knows, once you get in with these folks, they might consider you for an on-set position.

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