Freelancers work as independent contractors. As the word independent already tells us, freelancing is lonely by nature. However, there are many ways to make freelancing less lonely, and even very social. Freelancers sure need to be more diligent about seeking out companionship than traditional employees, but putting effort into socialising is surely something that pays off. In the end, humans are social creatures that get comfort from others. Let’s take a look into concrete tips on how to overcome the loneliness you might face in your career as a freelancer.
Engage in Communities
Whether you are a social person or not, belonging to a community is important. Sharing work, giving feedback, and discussing ideas with like-minded people keep us motivated and inspired. Slack communities, such as Koodiklinikka and Thriv Slack, are a great way to interact with other tech professionals in your daily life. To further boost the feeling of togetherness, be sure to take part in real life community events every now and then. For example, Koodiklinikka has an active channel for event related topics where you’ll find information about meet-ups and hackathons near you. Also we at Thriv organize regular get-togethers exclusively for the members in our community to give them the opportunity to get to know other talented freelancers within the field.
As the saying goes, surround yourself with people wiser than you. Mentors do not only assist you in finding ways to grow professionally but also give a humane touch to freelancing. As your own boss, you are the one who guides your everyday work life and motivates you to reach the best results, which naturally might feel a bit lonely. Meeting up with a mentor on a regular basis is a great way to get fresh views from outside and someone to bounce ideas with. Your mentor could be the old manager with whom you got along well, a person you found through a mentoring program, or even another gifted freelancer. In addition to mentors, you can rely on the Thriv team that is always ready to discuss all things career with you. If you already are a more seasoned tech professional, you can consider becoming a mentor for a rising developer genius or a design star. Sometimes giving might be even more rewarding than getting.
Widen Your Working Environment
We understand, working from home or from your summer cottage can be cozy. And for sure, all of us need some alone time every now and then. However, if we continuously seek solitude in the physical space, we might end up feeling lonely pretty fast. Hit up a coworking space a few times a week, or even more often if you feel like it. Collaborative workspaces are perfect spots to see friendly faces, pop into interesting conversations, and get inspired about your work. And hey, who wouldn’t love to have freshly made coffee always available? Not sure which co-working space would suit you the best? Don’t worry, most coworking spaces let you try for free. Also, the Thriv Benefit Bank has quite a few sweet deals for those who wish to save on a regular coworking membership. If you really love to work around people, keep an eye on projects that require relocation.
Collaborate with Cool People
Surround yourself with people that inspire you and then collaborate with them on something you both feel passionate about. Maybe you come up with a common development project to work on some hours a week? Or maybe you organize a hacking weekend with a group of techies? Spending time with people whose work you admire can teach you a lot and bring many enjoyable moments to your daily life as a freelance developer or designer.
As a freelancer, you choose with whom, where, and when to socialise. This can be either scary or liberating. If you relate more to the latter, we’d love to hear from you and discuss how we could support you in getting more out of your career as a freelancer. Let’s talk, shall we?