Geophysics fieldwork is often a very unstable business, at times there is enough work to keep you busy all day around, cast gushing in your account and then there are these periods where there hardly is any work around at all, and with that no real income.
One thing that controls this is the seasons, a lot of the manual geophysics work is often done in spring and fall (see previous post about crops for part of the explanation why), other things that may change this is the financial situation for those that order the work done and then again the company where you are working for the most might not win the big assignments that you are were counting on etc. etc.
So how to handle this, not really being able to count on a stable income?
Now I am not an expert on this, far from actually, but still I thought I would share a few thoughts on this subject with those who might have interest in this.
One thing that sure helps is to have a big bag of money lying there for the periods without income.
This is something that needs to be thought of in the periods where the income is really good, don't spend it all at once, tug a bit aside for times when work might not come as easily.
Different unemployment insurances might also be something that could help, I myself prefer to steer clear of as many insurances as possible (easy for me to say living in a country with free health care ... a health insurance is something I would avoid living without if I could) and try my best to be self insured. If you wonder why then take a look at the big office buildings (palaces might be a better word) and the many many workers in these buildings of the insurance companies, where do you think these money come from?
I don't find it easy at all handling this financial instability, but one thing that helps in handling this is the art of making a budget and working on sticking to it.
Another thing that helps is to have some kind of back up job that you can fall back on when geophysics work is getting slim. At this time in Denmark that is no problem at all, there is more work than there are hands to do it, but this will not always be the case. How you get one of these jobs to fall back on isn't something that I have a recipe for ... having an open mind never hurts, for example the tourist business has a lot of their main seasons in the summer and winter which fits nicely with the geophysics fieldwork in spring and fall.