I was in film school and started this internship at a film production company here in Hollywood. I learned a lot, but just as I was ready to leave they hired me for 6 months to run their office while they went on location for their next production.
So now I’m alone in the office. I’m actively marketing one film and nurturing some projects in development for the company, but mostly my day is about opening the mail and paying some bills here and there. It’s a 40 hour a week job, but I’m sick of just sitting here.
And while it’s great to have a job in the industry, it’s not exactly helping me pay off my student loans. I’ve gotten some writing done on my own projects, but I’m going to have to pick up a waitress job in the evenings soon. Do you have any recommendations of way to make extra money in the industry without being available Monday through Friday during the day?
Living in any city, whether it’s Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta, or wherever, is expensive. It’s going to be very difficult to afford it living on an assistant’s or PA’s salary. This is, unfortunately, what “paying your dues” means.
Student loan debt is no joke, but it’s also not the end of the world if you have some on your credit report. I would not advise picking up a second job for that.
In fact, if you can’t afford your rent on your current salary, I would suggest moving, or getting a roommate. Having trouble paying your cable bill? Cut it entirely.
Saving money is a much better option than working two jobs; you’ll burn out quickly. You’ll start to resent the position you do have in the industry.
And let’s face it, Kelly is doing quite well by most standards. She went from being an intern to a salaried assistant. She has some real responsibilities. In another six months, she’ll be in a position to either renegotiate her salary or look for a better job at another company.
And, with the boss away, it’s a golden opportunity to get paid while writing (which is almost as good as getting paid for writing).
Listen, life sucks right now. You’re broke, you don’t know where your career is going, you probably have a terrible love life.1 But that’s what this time is for. You’ll earn your battle scars, and once you become a successful writer or producer or development exec, you’ll appreciate it all the more because you earned it.
“Keep doing what you’re doing” is probably not the advice Kelly wants to hear, but that’s why I’m here. If you could give that advice to yourself, you wouldn’t bother writing me.