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The hype of being your boss and running your own business can be extremely exciting and a great step to make if you’re ready to take control of your career on a whole new level.
Once you’ve stepped out into the world of owning and running a business, whether that be starting as a limited company contractor, freelancing or becoming a sole-trader, most people won’t look back! It’s a chance for achievement, career direction and to showcase what skills and abilities you possess. It’s also a great way to fulfil a work-life balance when it comes to family life and working around what’s important to you.
However, many people who venture out on their own find it tough in the early stages and can feel vulnerable or lonely, being used to colleagues or a team around them, to suddenly feeling very isolated.
The nomadic lifestyle is one to be enjoyed - so how can you beat the feeling of loneliness in the workplace?
Co-Working spacesThere are many benefits to using a coworking space for your business, including having someone to speak to you when you need it! Take a breath for coffee or stretch your legs in between projects and there are other people who are in the same boat as you. You’ll get to know the regular people who are living a work-life very similar to yours and will give you opportunities to have conversations when you need them. Coworking spaces are also a place to network and build on your contacts. Make sure you introduce yourself and let people know what you do and your business will grow faster with a bigger network of people around you.
CollaborateIt can be easy to think that you’ve got to do everything yourself but in fact, it’s easier to grow your business by working with others and incorporating them into your business strategy. By finding other people who can do the things that you may not necessarily want to do but you know you need to be done, can have a big impact on how successful your business becomes. And the added benefit to collaborating with others is that you have people around you when you need them. They will be a support to your business and can be a sounding board if you need to vent. Utilise collaboration to feel a sense of ‘working together’ and to not feel as isolated throughout a working week.
Arrange face to face meetingsEmail conversations have their place but if you’re a sole trader or contractor working from home, it can be a breathe of fresh air to get out the house and have a meeting face to face with clients. Even a Skype meeting will allow you to see and speak to a client however meeting someone in person allows you to build a deeper relationship and understanding of them. Even if it’s just an initial face to face meeting which then it turns into emails and phone calls, it will enable you to get a proper impression of the person that you’re working with and to build upon that business relationship.
NetworkThe best way to not feel alone is by finding a group of people that you can regularly meet and connect with, build business relationships with and to have contact with on a regular basis. It can be a big confidence step to take, especially if you are a naturally introverted person however it will be the best decision you’ll make to not feel the loneliness when working on your own. Whether you choose a small or large group, you travel to big events or find something locally, networking can help you learn and develop new skills, create new connections and provide opportunities for your business to grow.
Get digitalGetting digital, might not be physically meeting people face to face but the online world gives an opportunity to have conversations and ask questions, gain advice and find information. There are social media groups along with forums where you can keep in touch with people at all times. LinkedIn is the perfect place to network on a professional level and to keep up to date with industry news and to connect with people within your niche. Join groups that give you a place to be yourself and either gain knowledge or pass your knowledge onto other people.
Have a social lifeDon’t forget to have a social life outside of work! You may be working for yourself, but if you’re looking to manage a good work-life balance, you’ll want to get and about outside of working hours too. There’s always time to meet a friend for coffee or take a trip to the gym. Health and wellbeing play a big part in how you feel in life, including how business is going and working for yourself.
Whatever situation you are in when it comes to working as a contractor, know that there are people around you to connect with at all times. Don’t be alone - get in touch - we’d love to talk!