The issue with rep life is that you are not guaranteed year round work. This year, I was actually lucky enough to receive a Winter placement which meant I’d only be out of work for two months. However, I decided to decline this in the name of love and the hopes that we’d get a second offer together. Unfortunately, we did not so we will be spending 6 months back at home in the UK.
The days of living as lady of leisure as I did last Winter are over though. The combination of earning a lot lower commission, paying off my overdraft and a more active social life has resulted in significantly lower savings than last Summer. I survived last Winter by returning home with 3000€ and also having a steady income of back logged commission. Just when I was starting to struggle after 4 months, I headed back to work so it worked out perfectly. This year with less money and two extra months to play with, the struggle could become real. So far, I have about 700€ saved and estimate I’ll return home with 1000€. I will put away 400€ of my savings for the first month of the next Summer season as we receive no wage until a month in and I will probably keep the remainder as spending money for some European travels we are hoping to do (money permitting). It’s pointless changing Euros back into GBP now, the exchange rate is appalling. My overdraft is now completely paid off so my wages from here on out will be my own. I hope there won’t be the need to fall back into it but it’s there if I really need it. So to be honest, it’s not looking horrific, a least I’ve got something behind me. I will return home with about £500 from my wages but unfortunately, that isn’t going to keep me going for 6 months, especially when my partner lives in a different country and I also want to travel.
The difficult thing about making a plan is that we have no idea when we are being sent home, we have no idea when we are going to work and we have no guarantee we will actually be able to get work elsewhere over Winter but I’ve developed a rough outline anyway which to be honest is massively subject to change as at the moment, nothing is certain.
I am in desperate need of a little break so I’m going to take my first two weeks just to relax. The first I will spend at home in England catching up with family and taking time to recharge my batteries then the second week I will spend in Northern Ireland with my partner and meeting his family. After that, I hope to work over Christmas. I’m pretty sure there will be a job for me with a previous company I have worked for. The one issue with this and any other jobs I may need to apply for is that this time of year, most of it is seasonal work and any job I obtain would find me out of work again come January. I plan to work as much as I can over the Christmas period to get some money behind me for the rest of Winter. During this time when I have a few days off, I’ll be visiting my partner in Belfast, taking a trip down to London to meet my friends new baby and also check out another’s new house in Liverpool.
Whilst I am home over Winter, I will of course get involved in my drama groups pantomime. While I love working abroad and travelling, I still always miss my other love of performing so whilst I’m back in the area, I am going to dive straight back into it. The panto finishes up mid-January, by which point, I am expecting to be out of work again. It’s going to be just as hard finding work wherever I am and by this point, being away from my boyfriend will have started to take it’s toll so I have decided I will be moving to Belfast for a few months to hopefully work whilst having some Irish adventures with my love.
Before heading out for our Summer season, we want to go Interrailing. Hopefully, we will both have been able to find work and have saved enough to purchase our European train tickets and have a couple of weeks of relaxing adventures across Europe before heading back off to work. Having already mentally saved my spending money, I will only be needing the train ticket and somewhere to rest our heads.
Lastly, I will be heading back to England for a week or so for one last family catch up before jetting off to work for another six months.
How this plans actually works out, we’ll just have to wait and see but I have strong hopes of finding work and saving enough money to fund our explorations. I’ve also been looking at freelancing jobs online and looking into sending some articles off to various travel magazines. I’m also keeping my fingers crossed that my company offer me additional Winter work at either a conference or training new reps which will help out a lot. Unfortunately, at the moment, nothing is certain and nothing is set in stone. We’ll just have to watch this space…