I don’t talk about my work too much, since it’s not really appropriate. However (and isn’t there always a however), I want to talk a little bit about the waiting and the hurrying up.
I work on a temporary basis, contract by contract. I am like a freelance writer. But I am not a freelance writer. Wouldn’t that be cool though? Like a freelance writer, I get called up when there is a job (or story in their case) available. The boss sets the terms. For each contract, the initial work period is generally 90 days, and can be extended out to more, depending on the duration of the job. So, I agree to work for 90 days and then I jump on a plane to wherever the new job is and I start working. Hence the “hurry up”. Usually 72 hours or less (usually more like 24 hours) after I get a call, I am on a plane heading somewhere new.
Sometimes the work lasts 90 days. Sometimes it lasts for years. Usually, as long as I work at least the agreed upon 90 days, I can leave afterwards at any time. Generally, I do not leave after only 90 days; I would rather work as long as I can, since afterwards it is unknown as to how long I will have before the next contract.
Right now I am in the “wait” portion. This is where I have finished my last contract and am waiting for a call for the next. Each part has its ups and downs. Both the hurry up and the wait make it hard to plan the rest of your life. Will the current job last for 90 days or 900? Will I wait for days or weeks or maybe even months for the next job to come along? Financially, it can be hard. You work and save but you are not sure how much you need to save and then you have time off but you try to be frugal in case another job doesn’t come along soon.
Mentally, it is difficult. I gave up my (great) apartment in San Francisco because I couldn’t justify spending that much money each month on rent when I was never home. So, all my things are in storage and when I am in between jobs I stay with my parents. This is fine for a few weeks, but when weeks turn into months I start to wonder what I am doing with my life. I start to think that maybe it is worth spending money each month, just to have a place to come home to and to call my own. Does anyone want to rent me a very nice apartment in San Francisco for less than $500? No? I didn’t think so.
Then I get the call again and I hurry out the door once more and my angst about needing space and a place to hang my hat goes by the wayside. New fears take its place. Remember when I talked about change? Starting over again every so often is hard. I end up in a strange place and don’t know the lay of the land or the people. This can be fun and exciting, but it can also be scary and tedious. It’s like a new relationship. First dates are fun and exciting, but isn’t it nice when you get to year one and you know everything about each other and you are comfortable? I sometimes get tired of going on yet another “first date” and having to ask the same questions over and over. I want to be comfortable.
I guess what I am trying to say is that it’s not very often that I am comfortable. Whether I am hurrying up or waiting, I am a little on edge. I am a little uncertain at all times. Will I get a job? When will I get one? Now that I have one, will I do a good job? Will I get along with the new client/boss/coworkers? How long will this last? Doubt is not fun. Luckily it is not always there. It comes and it goes. Just like me. Coming and going. Hurrying up and waiting.
Is there a situation where you have doubted yourself? What was the result?