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 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:
- 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.)