When I returned to work from maternity leave in February earlier this year, I’d been left with a bitter taste from the industry I’d been in since University, as I’d felt pushed aside whilst unsuccessfully trying to find work at 6 months pregnant writes JPM Jess Farrow (nee Garland). I was ready to make a break from TV and forge a new career in Events.
I found a nice 3 day-a-week job organising training courses, and eased myself out of the fog and into working life. At first I loved the simplicity of the job, I didn’t have emails on my phone, no one called me on weekends, what bliss! I weighed this up against the fact that the role wasn’t very stimulating and it seemed like a viable trade-off.
I had a break from the job over Easter and saw an old colleague post on Facebook that she was looking for someone to do post paperwork on a couple of Channel 4 docs, the kind of stuff that was my bread and butter as a co-ord. I asked her if this could be done part time and she was thrilled to welcome me on board. I had a lovely 4 weeks’ stint at Flicker Productions and got a little reminder of why had loved TV I the first instance. I tapped into knowledge I had acquired in my career and felt truly valuable. I got to work with lovely people and watch some brilliant documentaries. When I returned to the events role I had the undeniable feeling of total and utter boredom!
I left the events job at the beginning of June and have been trying to pick up my career in TV since then. Post Production seems to be the only area that can offer the flexibility of part time work and even going up to 4 days a week I have been unable to find a JPM role (my last position before going on mat leave was as a JPM).
I am terrified that my career will be dead in the water if all I have achieved in my year back at work is a few short coordinator contracts. This sounds less like a summary and more like a moan but I can promise you I am really good at my job. I have a great CV and lots of references willing to sing my praises, which is why I find it so frustrating to be in this position. I will use the scheme to make contacts and find flexible work and shout from the roof tops about it when I get it!
If you are a TV returner, join Jess Garland and our other Back to Work Scheme Winners at Media Parents Back to Work drinks in September, see our watercooler at www.mediaparents.com for details.