Author Topic: WORK/LIFE BALANCE: Taking time off  (Read 369 times)

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Maribeth

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WORK/LIFE BALANCE: Taking time off
« on: Mar 01, 2018, 12:56 pm »
In light of the recent posts about burnout and taking time off, I'm posting about my own work/life balance experience right now.

I've been taking time off this past season because I had a baby last summer and have been staying home with him. I've taken a few short gigs, and found some work that I can do from home, but I'd like to be able to come back to stage management more in the future. For those of you who have taken time off, what have you done to stay on people's radar, and what steps have you taken when you do decide to come back?

So far, my strategy has been to take a few smaller gigs (sub positions, short runs, special events) and when I'm offered shows for next year, explaining the situation and letting potential employers know that I'd like to continue to be considered for future positions. But I'd love to hear how other people have approached this!

Michelle R. Wood

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Re: WORK/LIFE BALANCE: Taking time off
« Reply #1 on: Mar 01, 2018, 02:46 pm »
I'd love to hear more about this subject as well. I suddenly took on a resident theatre position in January, so I'm out of the freelancing game for now. However I'll likely return to it in the future and don't want to let all my old gig outlets forget about me.
"Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration." -- Thomas Edison (Harper's Magazine, 1932)

maximillionx

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Re: WORK/LIFE BALANCE: Taking time off
« Reply #2 on: Mar 01, 2018, 07:10 pm »
As someone who does not (at times) have a healthy work/life balance, I would also love to hear everyone's perspective on this...It's  been a talking point lately for me and something I need to work on.

juliec

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Re: WORK/LIFE BALANCE: Taking time off
« Reply #3 on: Apr 17, 2018, 12:24 am »
How fascinating that this thread has several interested posters, and no one has responded with any tips! (Does this mean that SM's tend not to take time off? Hmmm...)

I'm also interested in this. Unfortunately, several of the companies I've had long relationships with have had quite a bit of turnover as well this year, so that hasn't helped very much in terms of network and contacts. Also, problematically, I'd like to take time off for almost a year for an full-time opportunity in another field. I'd love to come back, but there is a serious fear of being "forgotten".

To keep my skills sharp, I'm considering: 1-2 week jobs, jobs in related fields (corporate). Realistically though, these taking on short jobs may be limited because starting fresh at a full-time job another industry can be very time-consuming.

I'm hopeful that when you're ready to come back, you can email folks in your network to let them know and see if they know of any opportunities? My other huge fear is that once I leave, I won't ever come back, will drift ever more slowly away from the industry, and my skills will get more rusty. In part, I feel like those fears are just a hump I need to make it over. It's also scary because how do you keep your resume fresh?

For the past couple of years, I've been limiting the number of freelance jobs I do a year and sometimes I've had to not return to companies for a year or so as I rotate. This has worked well in terms of establishing better work/life balance, but not so well in terms of getting a steady paycheck. If you can solve that problem, it's great. Also, it's hard to remember how a company operates if you only come back every 2-3 years and it can be uncomfortably like starting over - so there might need to be something more than just skill that keeps you in their graces to return. Some companies seem to be more tolerant of this than others. If you do get back in, you may want to start with companies that know you enough that gaps in your resume may not be very important to them.

One important thing for me will be leaving every door open and every relationship in a state that I can reach out to later if the time is right.

Maribeth

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Re: WORK/LIFE BALANCE: Taking time off
« Reply #4 on: Apr 19, 2018, 09:52 pm »
I think it might mean that not a lot of SMs on this board take time off and come back to stage management....much more likely that folks slide into related careers like production management that have more family-friendly hours.

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