As I write this, It’s Wednesday before the big Christmas holiday week, and (business) things have been slowing down since Monday. Fewer emails, fewer phone calls, and everybody off to holiday events.
My first few years working solo, this caught me by surprise… and it was kind of depressing.
I didn’t have enough demonstrated success (in my mind) to celebrate the end of the year, and I was surprised to find myself without the collection of planned, company holiday events that I had grown used to over the previous 20 years or so. So I wandered around, pretty much waiting for January and things to start up again.
Well, you’ll be happy to know, those days are long gone. Now — just like the people with the “real jobs” — I make plans to celebrate the end of the year. I’ve got a dinner with about a dozen solo professionals tonight, and a lunch with a handful more on Friday.
Just like the old days, except guess what… it’s even better now. Because instead of celebrating with people who happen to work at the same company as I, I’m celebrating with friends (and friends of friends).
Here’s my point: One of the things about working solo is that you have to create your own environment; there’s no company inertia to pull you along. That’s easy when it means dressing how you like, working where you want, etc. But it also means you need to plan time off (nobody gives you vacation days), plan holiday (or whatever) celebrations, and generally make sure you do more than just work.
Remember, you call all the shots, and that includes taking time to enjoy your friends and accomplishments. Happy holidays!