Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A job with no contract is worth its weight in gold

I'm seeing a trend recently. People who work in places that make them miserable get to the end of the contract and leave rather than sign another one to remain in the ninth circle of hell. They're taking a chance (though if they're talented, they're really not) that they'll land on their feet. Some move home while looking for work, others seek freelance gigs until they find something permanent.

And then I have a few clients working with no contract. They're more relaxed without  the noose around their neck, they have more flexibility when it comes to moving on. They're not going to face a "sign another contract or get the hell out" moment. I think of a line from a girl I knew who grew up on a ranch. "You ride a horse longer with loose reins." In other words, people without a contract might actually stay longer.

Contracts make things very tough on both parties. On the talent side, it seriously can hamper your options when wanting to move on. On the management side, you can either get stuck with someone you later discover you really don't want, or end up with an angry employee because you won't let that person stay when the contract runs out.

I can understand having contracts for anchors.  But signing reporters in their first or second job makes no sense. It didn't used to be this way, but for some reason companies now want to play hardball with kids right out of college.

That's why if you run into a job offer that comes without a a contract, you need to weigh it accordingly. It will give you unlimited options and incredible flexibility, not to mention the lack of stress.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great tip. It really bothers me when stations sign a reporter to a contract for their first gig and yet pay them fast food wages. In my first gig, I was paid very little and signed a 2 year contract. So, I was tied to my low paying job for 2 years! I know, I shouldn't complain, no one put a gun to my head. But, if I didn't have a contract, I could've worked 6 months, maybe a year, moved on to some place else and made more money. Before signing a contract weight all the options, that's all.