Thursday, 15 August 2013

5 Things To Consider Before Quitting Your Day Job

Article written by Bulent Ozdemir
(DisclaimerThis article contains words and phrases that some people may find offensive. Please do not continue if easily offended)

I was recently contacted by a friend who is seriously considering quitting there day job to pursue a path into filmmaking. They wanted some pointers from someone who was crazy enough to do this --> ME.

Though I don't have the exact answers, here are 5 thoughts I shared with them, and now with you, from my own personal experiences:

1. Know What You Want: 

Sounds simple enough, but it's something you must be sure of before starting your journey. Do you want to be a successful Screenwriter? Director? Cinematographer? Pimp? It's GOT to be specific. Theoretically speaking, it'll be your guiding light in the dark.

Nb: Mine was "I want to make films." In hindsight, this was too much of a broad brush stroke.
2. Create a Financial Action Plan:
Whatever you owe in loans, debts, payment commitments etc, write them down on a sheet of paper. Then figure out a way to clear as much of it as you can. Clear ALL of it if you can. Even if you have to grit your teeth a little longer before you quit your day job.
Nb: I slugged it out for another 7 months to get my finances in order before quitting. This is a very important step.
3. Survival Income: 
Figure out the bare minimum amount of money you need to survive on a monthly basis. Food, utility, gas -- then find a part time job to cover this. Something with a low number of working hours and in a different field of work.
Nb: This is one thing I should've have done from the offset. It's a lonely journey and the brain is a cruel bastard, constantly looking ways to inflict self doubt. A small part time job will give you something else to think about, which in turn will nourish your creativity and determination. You'll thank me later.
4. Collaborate: 
Work with like minded individuals who share the same passion and most likely, journey with you. Certain things you can plan for, other things you just have to let take it's course. You never know the opportunities that could be waiting around the corner.
Nb: I've got to do this more.
5. Everyone's Journey is Different:
Be mentally prepared for the long slog. It's a marathon not a sprint. Most importantly, be prepared to be ignored. It's hard, but it's something you'll have to deal with. The idea is that talent will eventually prevail, as long as you keep moving forward.
Nb: I've been doing this full time now for 3 years. It's a 24/7 process for me that has been stupendously overwhelming at times. I'm just getting to a point where I'm securing small amounts of finance to make short films. But admittedly, it has taken it's toll. Being aware of the road ahead is half the battle.
I hope the above will be of some use to you guys. All the best with whatever decisions you make in your life. Time will tell if I've made the right decisions in mine. Until next time, folks.

Bulent Ozdemir Director FilmmakerBulent Ozdemir is a self taught Writer, Director and Filmmaker who left his day job as an insurance broker back in 2010 to pursue a career in film.
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e: bulentfilms[at]

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