I been reading this question: Where Do I Begin In Sound Design? and it got me to thinking not about 'starting' a career in sound but 'progressing', or more accurately, staying afloat in sound design?
I've been working for the last three years after university, however I've found that I need to diversify to put food on the table. I was reading Tim Prebble's article, very interesting it was, and he calls for finding your niche in the sound arena. I'd love to agree but I've found that if I wholly stick to sound (and not things like video editing, colouring etc what I do 'on top') then there's not enough work to go around. At least, yet.
I have recently moved from Manchester, UK to back to where I am originally from, Edinburgh. Perhaps this is partly the problem due to a shortage of need for sound editors/dubbing mixers in Scotland. From my limited three years I have found that sound design (all aspects) tends to be on student or very low budget films, also fuelled by passionate people, or big budget features which very rarely leave the comforts of Pinewood or Soho (in the UK at least).
So my question is, apologies for rambling, is how do people survive doing sound (before they become 'established')? Do you have extra curricular businesses (cafes, shops, jobs)? Do you diversify your skill-set, or narrow to a niche? Would love to hear your responses.