This is not an industry for anyone wanting to work Monday to Friday and 9-5. You will be expected to work long and irregular hours, sometimes seven days a week and often without warning. Be prepared for this and warn your friends and family that your social life will need to become as flexible as your working life. During the height of a production, the working day can extend well into the evening, which is why you end up being such close friends with the people you work with. They’re the ones around when you are finally ready to fall into the pub in the evening.
And working hard really does mean working hard. When you are just getting started, and if you want to really impress your employer and make the most of networking opportunities, you may need to put your social life on hold,. You will need to give 100%, and always go the extra mile if you want to stand out above the other interns, or work experience candidates. Immerse yourself in the media and don’t even think about beginning your day with a hangover.
Nevertheless, all employers have health and safety regulations to abide by – it should never be slave labour. There are a few horror stories of runners being expected to drive for hours on end without a break, but remember no job is worth getting seriously injured for.
Not for you? Well don’t worry, there are plenty of jobs – particularly at the BBC and the other large broadcasters – where it is possible to work much more regular hours. But you can be sure these jobs won’t be in a core production area. These positions may be an excellent option for people who want to work in the sector without facing the unreliability and insecurity of working in production-based jobs.