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7 Ways to Fight Freelancer Loneliness

By Miles Burke

Many of us have partners, but they may have full-time work outside the home, and then mightn’t be overly interested in how you’ve spent your day when they return. The pets don’t seem to have much to say either, when asked which design concept they prefer, or which framework you should build that site with.Isolation really is a serious problem for many freelancers. Here are seven ways I suggest as potential solutions to combat the sense that you’re the only person left on the planet:

1. Join a meet-up or local group.

I’ve mentioned this here before; however, it’s worth repeating that sites such as meetup.com and other organizations run chapters in your industry right across the planet. Spend some time looking for one in your area, and head along to a meeting; you may find solace in chatting to likeminded people, who are possibly in the same situation as yourself.

2. Start a meet-up.

So you’ve looked around, but there’s no group meeting near you. Do you have many competitors in the same town or region? Collating a list of email addresses or telephone numbers, then making contact to ask if they’d be interested in meeting at a neutral venue, is a fantastic way to kick-start a new vibrant group.

3. Join forums.

SitePoint has a lively discussion forum, and although the pariticpants aren’t face to face, there’ll likely be enough conversation and discussion to keep you from feeling too left out from the real world.

4. Volunteer your time.

Your local sports club, scout group, or church may need volunteers, whether it be for maintaining their website, or even looking after a booth at a fair. Volunteering makes you feel good, and helps build relationships with great people.

5. Go and study.

We all have plenty to learn; maybe you can find a nighttime course in something that appeals to you, whether it be learning Spanish or bookbinding—you’ll meet a whole roomful of people who are also interested in that topic.

6. Work from a café.

You may not even be speaking to those around you, but taking your laptop out of your usual environment and finding a place with good coffee and wifi can re-energize you. That old saying about a change being as good as a holiday might apply for that one day you try it out!

7. Find a serviced office.

If you can, check out serviced offices or find somewhere you can rent a desk. As well as making you feel more like part of the human race, a regular place to work outside of home will possibly make a huge difference to your productivity if you are prone to being easily sidetracked.Best of luck with finding the solution to loneliness!

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  • Wolf_22

    I would wholeheartedly agree with the coffee shop idea. That’s one of my most preferred methods of fighting loneliness. I’ve also learned that rearranging things helps. For example, if you have an at-home office, rearranging things helps a lot because if gives you a refreshed feeling…

    But in the end, it’s really all about mind-over-matter. None of these tips will ever help you unless you can overcome that initial roller coaster hill. Once you learn how to do that, however, everything else is easy to manage.

  • http://www.drlinux.no/ drlinux

    Glad to see it’s not just me! :D
    I started freelance 2,5 months ago after 10 years at the same company, and while not feeling exactly lonely, it really is a huge change. There is noone to talk to the full day, except for the occasional client ;)
    I agree the work at café can be very nice, so I try to do that once a week. Wolf_22’s idea of re-arranging is very good, and I will try to “fix up” the home-office this week-end. Should make for a fresh breath!

  • http://www.apcooper.co.uk AndrewCooper

    Paul Boag also suggests trying to find yourself a mentor or someone who you can mentor in the business / industry of Web Design / Development. I think it’s great and I think I may already have a semi-mentor! :D It’s great to bounce ideas off, have a good social time, and generally be involved with the industry.

    I agree with all of your points Miles. I particularly take advantage of 3, 4, and 5. I’ll soon be taking part in some local meet-ups and groups too! Just get yourself out there in the wild World! :)

    Andrew Cooper

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