Party of One
After leaving my last employer, working on my own had a major appeal. I was enamored with the image of being a lone wolf. Working as hard and when I wanted. I felt I was ready to be a party of one.
Let’s face it, freelance/contract work is an exercise in patience with a healthy dose of endurance. Each day is much like the next. There are no weekends or standard work hours. It’s all about the deadline.
In the almost 2 years I’ve been out on my own the one thing I never thought I would miss is what I miss most, direct contact with people. I naively believed work would be enough. That’s not to say when I’m really, really busy I think much about people, but when I’m between projects, like now, I find myself missing human contact. I long for the messiness of interpersonal relationships, people to bounce ideas off of. Admittedly coming to this conclusion has been a bit of a surprise. I’ve always thought of myself as self-contained, independent. Seems I’m more of a people person than I thought.
So when friends and colleagues question me about their possibly going out on their own, I don’t try to dissuade them. Instead, I ask pointed questions and let them answer for themselves. Questions like:
- Can you be alone?
- Can you be flexible?
- Do you have a sense of humor?
- Do you have the ability to motivate yourself?
- And stay motivated in adversity?
These are not by any means the only questions, but they are sort of a temperament test. I believe as long as I can be honest with myself and answer with certitude I’m on solid ground. The minute I start making excuses it’s time to reevaluate.
A question I’ve been asking myself lately is, “Should I maybe consider joining someone else’s party?” At least part time. What do you think?
What do you think?