#1: The Adjustment Process Part One: Working from home

The first thing I would like to share with you is the adjustment process, which I remember I went through back in 2001. It is quite a huge change, moving from working from a big institution to working for yourself, even if it is to be yourself plus others. One key part of the adjustment is linked to whether you engineered your own departure or it was engineered for you. Depending on what is happening to you at this moment in time some of these adjustments might strike a chord with you.

I am not going to dwell on these as they are now fading memories for me; they have been eclipsed by other more exciting events. The first one is the whole issue of working from home, which is where most people start – they don’t usually go out and rent an office, studio or workshop. I was used to working from home because of the nature of the job in my later years at Deutsche Bank; I was out of the country three weeks out of four and was conditioned to working from home before and after trips, particularly as
I am not very good at getting off the redeye flight and performing effectively. I am pretty much a wimp and I can’t cope with sleep deprivation; by lunchtime it’s like I have been hit by a truck!

But I am much better going home, getting a couple of hours sleep, getting back in the right time zone, doing a bit of work and then on day two getting back into the swing of it rather than going into the office and being a superhero; it just does not work for me.

As Clint Eastwood would say before he shot people: “a man has got to know his limitations” and I knew what mine were!

So I was used to working from home and I was quite disciplined; I did not lapse into watching daytime TV unless it was golf (my Achilles heel), and then I could get the siren call of the TV. But there is a huge difference between doing it for the odd day here and there and it becoming a way of life.

As I said, not many people go out on day one and decide that they need an office, a studio a workshop, or whatever it may be; they start from home and figure out “what is what” so there is quite a significant transition from being in a buzzy office environment where you have noise, chatter, gossip and everything else going on, to being in a more tranquil setting at home.
When I started my wife was (and still is) a school teacher and my kids were at secondary school, and they all went out together in the morning at 7:30; the earliest back was around 5:30 in the evening. During that time the only interruption, (we live at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac) was the postman who used to pitch up at around 11 o’clock. I felt like an old man on neighbourhood watch, as, if he had not appeared by 11:30 I would peer through the curtains thinking “has he fallen off his bike?” and wondering whether he was alright. I needed to get out more!

It dawns on you, particularly if you are a gregarious animal and you like social interaction, that the only person who can do something about it is you; you can’t sit at home fretting about it.

At the same time you notice that the phone does not ring as much, you don’t get as many text messages or emails and the only post you get is either bills or junk!

So we need to find some ways for you to fill your time constructively and at the same time get you out of the house – research and networking will be big parts of this.

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