freelance life

I’ve talked about what I don’t miss about working in an office environment with coworkers… but that doesn’t mean it’s all roses and sunshine as a freelancer! Here are a few of the things I miss about working in an office and having coworkers:

1) Brainstorming sessions.

Sometimes you really want to hash things out with someone, or get a second opinion. Or you just get stumped for ideas in the creativity department!

Being a freelancer can be tricky because you end up doing a fair amount on your own. Luckily I can ask Mr. Science for his thoughts on such-and-such, and now I have a freelancer buddy in Dan, which helps a lot. Of course, it’s not the same as my old job, when we’d occasionally have anywhere from three to seven of us getting together with big sheets of poster paper and coming up with ideas for a solid couple of hours! I always enjoyed those brainstorming sessions, and we’d get some fantastic ideas out of them.

Grab your checklist for preparing to work from home full-time >>

2) Coffee / lunch breaks.

My idea of a coffee or lunch break tends to be going to Starbucks and grabbing an Americano while working, or heating up some leftovers and eating a snack in front of the computer.

While we didn’t take many breaks at my last office job, the breaks that we did take often ended up being great opportunities to either bond as a team (and talk about non-work items), or to chat about work stuff (which was especially handy as a way to connect with other staff members who worked in different departments and who we didn’t get a chance to connect with regularly).

My current breaks during the day are for sitting down to read a few chapters of a book, squeezing in a little exercise, or tidying the house. It’s not quite the same as taking a coffee or lunch break with coworkers, but it works well for me right now.

3) Mentoring.

This might be the biggest thing that I miss. In my last full-time position, I had the opportunity to have project assistants and be on the hiring team… and I absolutely loved working with other people and teaching them about the non-profit world and mentoring them. I’m sure I learned just as much from them as they learned from me, but I’ve always enjoyed being able to share my knowledge with other people and collaborate—especially when we get along well and have similar perspectives.

This is something that I’m hoping to expand on in the coming months and years: mentoring other people who aren’t as far along the freelancing journey as I am, and being mentored by people with more expertise than I have.

4) The opportunity to try completely new things.

As a freelancer, I certainly gain a lot of new experiences and knowledge on the job, but I’m also limited because I don’t have different types of software etc. at my disposal. It was fun, at my old job, to play around with things like design work (which I was, quite frankly, terrible at), and to be put in charge of new projects simply because I had the most experience out of everyone in the office—even if my own experience was extremely limited.

Nowadays, I’m hired because I’m an expert. And there is always more to learn in your particular field, which I love, but it does mean that I’m not presented with tasks or projects that are totally out of my scope.

Grab your checklist for preparing to work from home full-time >>

5) Being around people all day.

This is an iffy one. On the one hand, I love not being around people all day as a freelancer, because it means I have the energy to spend time socializing with my friends and networking. On the other hand, as I’ve mentioned multiple times, I had some really awesome colleagues that I genuinely enjoyed spending time with. Most of the time I truly enjoy having my own office and working alone, but every now and then, I do miss sharing an office and having people around to connect with!

The bottom line…

When it comes right down to it, there is no way I would trade my freelance life for my office life. The pros outweigh the cons, every time, and I wake up with a smile every day, knowing that I own my own business, can choose my own projects, and am doing the type of work that I would gladly do for free if I didn’t need to earn an income to live.

But it’s always good to keep things in perspective and remember the value of different types of lifestyles 🙂

Do you work in an office or as a freelancer? What do you like or dislike about your job? Is it something that you are passionate about (or do you feel that your job is something you *need* to be passionate about)? Share in the comments section below!

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14 thoughts on “Five Things I DO Miss about Working in an Office

  1. I think the being around people all day would be a big one for me. Although I do enjoy having some time to myself, I still need to have that human interaction to get some energy!

    Posted on March 4, 2015 at 8:02 am
    1. I feel like I really appreciate in-person meetings so much more now that I spend all this time alone! Human interaction is important 🙂

      Posted on March 4, 2015 at 8:39 am
  2. So I’ve been freelancing for about a month after having been in office jobs for 13+ years. I miss my work friends, but I also kind of miss the office gossip — I realize that sounds terrible. But you know, my life is pretty uneventful. The mini dramas that played out at work were often entertaining. That said, office gossip can be toxic and one of the (many) reasons I decided it was time to leave was the general low morale at my former workplace.

    I’ve also reached out to a lot of business owners for coffee and lunch and feel like I’m still getting that creative energy from other people. That’s helped a lot with the transition, I think.

    Posted on March 4, 2015 at 8:27 am
    1. It’s easy to romanticize things when we no longer have access to them, right? 😉

      DEFINITELY helps to have other freelancers and small business owners to connect with!

      Posted on March 4, 2015 at 8:45 am
  3. I can totally see both sides to this. At times it is EXHAUSTING to deal with coworkers or for me… 20+ employees all ALWAYS needing something… but on the other hand the social aspect is exciting at times. People need to be around people, but if all you “people energy” is spent dealing with office politics then your friends and family may get the brunt of it. For me, I love having my bar and the people in it, but it’s always nice to come home, unwind and blog because that is my own little space just for me!

    Posted on March 4, 2015 at 8:33 am
    1. Yes! All about balance.

      Posted on March 4, 2015 at 8:45 am
  4. I work part time and have found a good balance. I don’t know if I would be happy working from home 100% of the time…but love only going to my job 3 days a week!

    Posted on March 4, 2015 at 10:04 am
    1. That’s so good that you’ve found something that works well for your situation.

      Posted on March 4, 2015 at 1:43 pm
  5. I’m such a grump. The only time I like being around the office peoples is for parties where food is involved. Clearly this is a sign that I should be working from home? LOL!

    Posted on March 4, 2015 at 11:03 am
    1. HA! Yep 😉

      Posted on March 4, 2015 at 1:45 pm
  6. I’m with you on a couple of these, luckily I have a blogging partner so we’re constantly bouncing ideas but I do miss the office going ons. Then again, I sure don’t miss the drama. 😉

    Posted on March 4, 2015 at 7:22 pm
    1. Ugh, drama is the WORST! Definitely don’t miss that 😉

      Posted on March 9, 2015 at 3:25 pm
  7. Actually just switched to part-time from my full-time salary position in an office. I did it so I could have more time with personal projects (video production, game development, art). So I kind of get both worlds as my boss was kind enough to make adjustments to my schedule so I could still work part-time at the office and be able to pursue my personal passions with some more time I could dedicate to myself. I initially thought I would have to quit since there aren’t part-time people in the office – other than me now of course. In the long run, I’m not sure if my professional life includes still working where I’m at or if I go all in on working on reTouch Media but I like that I currently have my options open.

    Posted on March 9, 2015 at 11:20 am
    1. That’s awesome that you have flexibility like that! Gives you a lot of opportunity to see what direction you want to take in the long-term.

      Posted on March 9, 2015 at 3:28 pm