By Angel Kwiatkowski
Leaving a traditional job for the freewheeling life of an independent professional is exhilarating in many ways: you decide your schedule, choose your clients, and finally realize the dream of going to work in your pajamas.
One less-exhilarating consequence of becoming a freelancer is that you lose the security of a regular paycheck. Traditional professionals know that check is going to magically appear every two weeks, regardless of whether they worked their ass off or spent most of the week sneaking cat naps at their desks.
Not so for the brave freelancer. When you’re self-employed, no work means no pay. Period.
If you’ve recently decided to branch out on your own, you’re probably already feeling twinges of that deep abdominal panic that occurs when the bank account dips below the ‘safety’ level. You might think that being broke means you can’t afford coworking.
Here are three reasons why you can’t afford to not be coworking.
New Opportunities – They abound in a coworking space. Whether it’s bartering work with your neighbor, or raising your hand when someone says, “Hey, I have a friend that’s looking for someone to upgrade her website,” coworking attracts work. There’s also the chance that your coworker will see an online job posting you missed, or tell you in advance that their company is looking for some contract help. If you’re not there, you won’t be able to take advantage of it.
Encouragement – You know that panic I mentioned earlier? You’re not the only one that’s felt it. Every single freelancer or business owner has felt that same fear, and lain awake at night wondering how they would make ends meet. Belonging to a community of empathetic freelancers will allow you share those fears without embarrassment or judgment. Better yet, you’ll get free advice (ok therapy) from experienced entrepreneurs about how to budget, survive, and find new work.
Distraction – Being broke isn’t any fun, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend your days hidden in your home office. Instead of retreating from this unique and often difficult life, embrace it. Use your coworking community as a sounding board for ideas, attend networking events and schedule meet-ups. Relax. Laugh. Remember that you chose freelancing because it’s what makes you happy, not because it will make you a millionaire.
Image Credit: Flickr – katerha