People often say that the first thing a politician does after winning an election is running for re-election. As a PA, or any freelance crew, you should be thinking the same way.
You never know how long a show will last. It could get cancelled in the middle of the season, or even in the middle of an episode (I’ve had that happen). Movies aren’t a whole lot safer, and even if they’re completed, they’re much more limited in time.
So, when you land a job, you should immediately begin setting the stage for your next one. How? First, be the best damn PA you can be. Show up early, leave late, and be on top of everything.
Just as important, but a lot harder to put into effect, is– don’t disappear. You’re working long hours for weeks and months on end. It’s hard to get out and do stuff, while still having some time to yourself.
But friendships are key to surviving in this Industry. You don’t want people to forget about you. Keep in contact with friends from previous shows, even if it’s just on Facebook or Twitter. At least once a week, grab coffee or drinks with someone you haven’t seen in awhile.
One trick I learned from my favorite book about networking is to introduce two people over drinks. You’re catching up with two people at once (efficient!), and they’re each adding someone to their network. Two birds, one stone.
You have to keep this sort of thing up constantly, so that when your show does finally come to an end, you’re in a position to reach out to them when the time comes.
Also, it’s fun! Better than scrolling through Netflix for three hours without actually watching a movie.