Why I’m not lonely

Photo: Bill Doyle

For 33 years I worked in an office. For the last year I’ve worked on my own. I never worried about money, but did worry that I’d miss the social side of work.

I don’t.

I used to be part of something bigger, working with an agenda set, mostly, by my senior managers. Now I have a bigger agenda set by myself: to create popular and enduring content. I don’t miss the organization or the hierarchy.

I used to have the experience of seeing familiar faces every day. I cared a lot about some of them, and had friendly relationships with the others. I still connect with the ones I care about. And on my blog and Facebook, I’ve got a community that cares about what I’m working on (and I care about what they’re doing, too). I don’t miss the social routine.

I used help people think up and write great stuff. I still do. They’re called clients.

I used to have access to experts on everything from mobile technology to customer experience at Forrester. I still do. They’ll still take my calls. And there are plenty of other experts in my contact list, too.

I used to have coauthors. I miss those close content relationships, but I like the freedom to go in any direction I want.

I used to have an appreciative audience for my wisecracks. I still do. It’s called Facebook (and this blog).

Forrester Research was the most open and supportive environment possible for creating great content. Even so, here are some things I definitely don’t miss:

  • Commuting.
  • Birthday parties at work.
  • Managing people.
  • Quarterly reviews and goals.
  • Management approval of entrepreneurial ideas
  • Office gossip.
  • HR policies.
  • Air travel.
  • Expense reports.

I enjoyed working in the corporate world and I don’t regret how long I stayed there; it gave me the network and intellectual, financial, and professional platform that I have now. It gave me the reputation I am currently building on. I’m having a blast, to be honest.

Thank you, Facebook and blogosphere, for being my office companions. I promise to keep you amused.

(Warning: Your mileage may vary.)

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  1. Extremely well put! I was 40 years in the corporate world and feel the same….sitting here working away in my sweats. Cheers

  2. I have been working from home since 2001. I hope I never have to change it! With skype, IM services, FB, and LinkedIn, I never feel lonely.

  3. well done, ray, enjoy your writing tips and general comm’s about american events … one of the things i most enjoy about retirement from an institutionalised setting is opportunity to follow my own nose … keep going, mate!!!!! john, sunshine coast, qld, aus.

  4. I went solo a year ago due to redundancy. What sucked at the time turned out to be a great opportunity. I think I might be one of those people whose energy gets zapped by being around other people.

  5. As someone who will soon be retired and who wonders about missing the social aspects of work, I loved this post. Especially the “things I definitely don’t miss”. I definitely won’t miss “being empowered” or “driving results”!