Working from home is isolating. Whether you are paid with actual currency or you are a stay-at-home parent being compensated with slimy kisses and defiant “nos!” from your 3-year-old, you really are managing your career on your own.
No bosses to report to, no reviews. You are your own boss and quite often, self-criticism and the company you keep become your monthly review.
Since I started working from home and being a stay-at-home parent, I realized the key to my survival is finding a community of people who support and encourage me to take on the day. (Especially when I want to crawl under my bed covers and sob.)
If you have not found at least one person you can bounce ideas off of or call when you are on the verge of a meltdown, it is time to start searching for some supporters!
- Seek out other like-minded people. This does not necessarily mean someone in the same field, rather a person who has a similar mindset or a mindset you would like to have in the near future. I met my friend Pamela while living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and immediately knew she was someone different. Her calm demeanor and sincerity was what I desperately needed at the time. I longed for a daily role model to show me that peace and patience was possible in a human being.
- Do not limit yourself to local people. I have a lovely friend, Hana, who lives in New Zealand. The odds of Hana and me getting together for coffee in the near future is pretty slim, but through our communication on Twitter, we have bonded through our personal and professional interests. My modern day pen pal, Hana and I share advice and provide a listening ear while wiping dirty faces, writing a blog post, or creating handmade masterpieces. (Well, Hana creates, I read longingly from afar and pretend to be a mother who makes things…)
- Do not be afraid. Making new friends as an adult is difficult. Several years ago I met a lovely girl named Mary, who my heart connected with immediately. I remember saying to my husband, “I really like this girl at work and I want to be her friend!” I felt juvenile making that exclamation. In all of my awkwardness, I shyly mentioned to Mary that I wanted to be her friend and she said she felt the same way. (Or maybe she asked me to be her friend?!) No matter…We became friends!
- Block out people who refuse to dream. You know who I am talking about. Your friend who plants a doubtful seed in your mind when you share an idea. That pessimistic mother of yours who cannot seem to be happy for you no matter what… Stop sharing with them. STOP IT. Share your dream with people who uplift, high five, and check up on you to make sure you are following through on your plan.
- Work on yourself – with the help of others. Rather than making shallow resolutions for the year, I started working on “Creating My 2012 Compass” with Debra Smouse. An in depth look at my heart from the inside, Debra’s positively intense three step guide is helping me light my inner fire and take on the world this year! Challenge accepted!
Where do you find support?
Aren’t you sick of moping around wondering if you will ever get to be passionate about life?
I believe in you and you should too!