The Downside of the Freelance Economy

Man sat down working with notebook computer and smartphone
Image credit: photo by Joseph Gruenthal on Unsplash.

We are like islands in the sea, separate on the surface but connected in the deep.

William James.

The freelance economy is radically redefining the “traditional” career path for many of us. Whether it’s as an Uber driver, someone who picks up odd jobs on Jobber, as consultants, marketers, writers, photographers, graphic designers, web experts, bloggers, marketing gurus, sole business proprietors or other types of entrepreneurs, freelancing is a way of life that creates meaning and fulfillment for many people.

Dream Jobs

People come into the freelance world for many reasons, perhaps wanting to spend more time at home with young children, or to take care of an elderly relative, or simply just because we can’t imagine working at a 9-5 day job.

Whatever the reason, the advantages are many. Freelancers and entrepreneurs have control over our own schedules, have the ability to manage the creative flow at our own pace, are able to be more in sync with our natural rhythms, and we also need not answer to anyone else. For many people, entering the freelance world is the fulfillment of a dream. We are now the sole creators of our destiny, and it feels great!

However, like most career choices, there are upsides and downsides. A variable income stream is perhaps one that first springs to mind, but one of the largest – and one that is often not addressed, even to ourselves.

Isolating Work

Tremendous isolation can result from working for yourself. Without others around during the day to bounce ideas off of, or simply to commiserate with and share that vital social energy with, we may find ourselves yearning for more connection to others in our work. Facebook and the web can’t replace the feeling of being around supportive and caring individuals. 

Connection To Others

There are no short-cuts to deeper connections with others. We have to make time for current friends and open up to the possibilities of new ones. Are there friends out there who you haven’t seen in a long time, but miss their presence?

Make a commitment to yourself by setting a date on the calendar, and not letting work interfere with that date. Connection with others is just as important as any other commitment.

It’s also helpful for freelancers to find a “tribe”, like-minded people who are also working towards similar goals. Using Meet-up.com, or looking into group meetings at bookstores, can really help to steer you towards others.

There are also many Master Mind groups out there, too, which mix an entrepreneurial spirit with support and recognition. You could also always start your own group via Meetup or Craigslist. As the saying goes, if you don’t see the group you need, then it’s because you are supposed to start it!

Discover more tips on the emotional aspects of the freelance society in my complete article.

My wish for you today is that you set aside some time to make those important connections in your life!

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