• Rachel Hardy

3 or 4 right turns, but who’s counting?

Updated: Aug 2, 2019

Sometimes, you have to make three right turns to go in the direction you originally wanted.

I graduated college with dreams of documentary filmmaking. Of course, I also graduated with a job waiting for me in Fort Wayne, Indiana (right turn #1). I decided television photojournalism would be close to documentary work. Should be factual, right? Would be of-the-moment, right? There were connections to documentaries there.

That job was hard. TV news is not for the faint of heart, physically weary, or emotionally stressed. I swear snow was on the ground for six months straight. I promise I worked there for five years, even though on paper, it was only for a year and a half. It was rough.

I moved to Indianapolis to continue in television news. Still as strenuous as ever. I toughed it out until 2011, when I left that job to work in a call center (right turn #2). Yup. In-bound phone calls and customer service were the next stop. Then, the same company posted a video producer opening in the PR department. Well, I never!

Having fun at work on Halloween.
Halloween, a banana costume, and an old camera. Photo by Katie Shepardson

I accepted the corporate video producer job, and the team grew over the next five years. I produced a wide range of videos for a wide range of audiences. The team were heading in a great direction… until the day half of us were laid off. I was one of those people, and I was even wearing the company t-shirt that day to boot.

This led me back to a temporary position in TV news (a U-turn?) at a different station where the employees encouraged me to apply. I worked there until I found something more permanent, which led me to accepting a career and technical high school teaching position (right turn #3).

Teachers are amazing people, and some of those kids were truly great, and the best parts of my workday. But I realized I missed creative control and producing visual stories. I knew I needed back into a creative video career.

One of those old TV news jobs paid off. There was a pension plan while I was there, and now they were selling the company and doing away with the plan that I’d left in their management. I was allowed to take that pension money (and pay taxes on it), so I saw this as my opportunity to start my own business: EyeCatching Edits (right turn #4).

Now, I can produce all the different kinds of creative videos I want, and even work on documentaries. We’ll see where this road takes me. If you have to take a detour to get to your destination, take the surprise route, enjoy the scenery, learn as much as you can, and it may pay off.

Click here to read about Other stuff I've learned.

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