New Year Panic! Get used to it, it is a feature of our profession.
As a live sound engineer the seasonal nature of our work is never felt so keenly as around the beginning of January. If you were lucky you worked hard up to Christmas, had a reasonably paid New Years Eve, and are only just now realising there is nothing in the diary!
Don’t panic! You are not alone. Every engineer I know sees work in January and February as a bonus. Unless you are very lucky and have some dates in the Southern hemisphere there is not much going on. For me I finished in the middle of December and start work again in March. It’s a long gap. This year is not unusual and one I have prepared for as best I can. At the end of January you are also, if you are self employed, hit with a tax bill you can ill afford!
My advice is firstly, save. This will happen most of the way through your career. Secondly, diversify. Find something to do. Get on a course, learn something that will improve your job chances. Try and stock up projects that may not earn you anything but will give you contacts and connections. Have an unrelated profession you can fall back on. I have done everything from building to map drawing just to tide me through.
The best advice is just stay busy. The gigs will start up again and you will wonder why you got so scared, until….. about this time next year! Happy 2016!