HO HO HO... tis the season of joy, goodwill and a distinct lack of TV jobs. Apparently.
I have to say there is a slight misconception for entrants to the sector that needs clearing up: runner 'x' said to me the other day, 'apparently there is no work at Christmas but all the other runners I know are working'.
There is lots of work at Christmas - what there is a lack of are new openings. Those working throughout December/January tend to fall into one of two camps (TEND!) - they are either 'staffers' and thus have the guarantee of work all year long (or, until they wander to pastures new/get caught stealing tea bags) or, they are working on a production which runs over the winter/festive period. With regard to the latter, I hear queries of 'how can they be? I heard there was no work at Christmas?' - there is, as I said. It just generally gets recruited to earlier in the year.
Television production does not cease for the winter months - sadly - how fabulous would it be to have three months of 'chill time' (paid, naturally) a year?!? What does slow down though is the start up of new productions and recommissions, thus the reduction in advertised posts.
If you know that you will be available in December, do not wait until December to send out your CV and then cry with dismay 'there is no work!', get proactive and start letting people know your availability from about 6 weeks in advance.
I promise you - if you head to any TV company you will not find desolate corridors and offices with a sense of eeriness. You may however find a lot of TV types abusing the 'festive season' and indulging in wine and mince pies of an evening!
The workflow is steady and productions occur - but there will be lesser 'new roles' on the market. The best way to ensure you are hot to trot for employment over Christmas if you are out of work for a wee while, is to (IMO only!) do the following:
1. Utilise your new found free time to do a CV overhaul and cover letter update
2. Do not wait until you start to see adverts in the New year for roles before you re-establish contacts at firms you have previously worked - I spoke with a Head of Talent for a leading TV company just this week about this and she advised that they would rather know you are available about 4 - 6 weeks in advance and be able to avoid going through an active hunt for crew. Recruitment is time consuming and expensive - so do let people know when you are free to work (although - not to work for free!)
3. Rather than leave blanks on your CV for a significant period, see what other things you can do with your time - for example courses, attending networking events, getting involved with (legal) voluntary media events, and writing for media publications
4. Keep yourself busy - you will not be at your best for New Year/spring interviews if you have spent 8 weeks dwelling about your lack of work or letting 'the fear' take over. Keep positive - stay busy - and be happy. You will shine and feel much more confident when the roles do start to come back up.
And remember.... in the words of Miss Carey, all I want for Christmas is youuuuuuuuuu. Well, not literally me, but someone will want you - there is still some work there - just be wise about subscribing to it in plenty of time.