I went full-time as a self-employed person about 2 years ago, and I can testify first-hand to how lonely a career it can be. Being a freelancer/self-employed person usually means you work from home alone, and some days can be a lot harder than others, even for the introverts.
I have always been an introvert, I am very comfortable being by myself, and I do enjoy being alone most of the time. But sometimes I miss the chit-chat and the buzz that goes on in a regular workplace; being able to have meetings, bounce off ideas, and just the usual office banter. Just so you know, I was not a fan of any of these things when I had my normal job, but I guess sometimes we humans miss things we don’t have, even if we don’t really like it. Why we do, I don’t know, we just do.
The loneliness of being a freelancer is real, so I won’t advise anyone who enjoys being in the company of others to go self-employed, except you have a form of working arrangement that involves working or meeting regularly with other self-employed people in your niche.
There are ways to deal with the loneliness and frustrations of the self-employed world, here is how I deal with them –
Have a sounding board
Having a sounding board is very important when you are self-employed. A sounding board is someone you trust who would listen to your achievements, frustrations, and just someone you can have a chat with about your work, and who can offer you good advice as well. The more sounding boards you have, the better. I have one main sounding board, and a few others. They all help keep me sane. Whenever I feel like having a rant, I know I can trust them to listen. It also feels great to share milestones and achievements with them.
Take regular breaks
Regular breaks are very important when you work alone from home, because you can easily find yourself working continuously on your coach, without taking a break for hours. Taking breaks means you get to do other things which is great for your mental health and fitness life. Taking regular breaks also means you can leave the house for a walk, which is great because you get to interact with others while you are at it.
I try to go for long walks everyday, and I love how fit I am. My Fitbit stats speak for itself.
Working in coffee shops
Working in coffee shops also help combat the loneliness and isolation. I personally find working in coffee shops very distracting, so I tend not to do this, but I know many who do and enjoy it.
Joining Facebook groups and Twitter chats
I have joined a couple of Facebook blogging and freelance groups, and I also try to take part in as many Twitter chats as I can. These groups and chats help combat the isolation.
Overall, working from home works well for me. I won’t change my flexible working conditions for anything, but some days I need to have my Spotify playlists on repeat to get rid of the silence.
Do you work from home? How do you deal with the loneliness?