February 19, 2009
Seattle coworking facility offers bailout for the recently laid off
Looking for work is lonely business. Most days, it's just you, your computer, your phone, and the dust bunnies at your feet. For the person who enjoys working alongside a team of peers Monday through Friday, this solitude can be torturous.
Just this week, someone on an email discussion list I subscribe to asked if any other laid-off list members wanted to form a job hunter's support group to meet in a public setting on a regular basis. As in, everyone would have to shed their pajamas, get on a bus or get in their car, and go somewhere.
Within hours, at least a couple dozen list members expressed their interest in joining such a group. (I believe "Bleep yeah! I'm so there!" was the response heard round our corner of the digital world.)
I'm all for banding together with your laid-off peers like this for a little camaraderie, brainstorming, and commiseration -- especially those peers not competing for the same jobs as you. But at most, such job hunting support groups meet once a week for a couple of hours, which means you still have approximately 35 other hours of the workweek to endure with only your consumer electronics and household pets for company.
That's why I think the Pink Slip Special offered by Capitol Hill coworking facility Office Nomads is such a great idea. For a limited time, Office Nomads is providing a free month-long daily-drop-in membership (valued at $375) to new members who can prove they've recently been laid off. What your membership gets you: a desk in a quiet, spacious, beautifully furnished office space; a high-speed Internet connection; and real, live, hard-working colleagues to surround yourself with during the workweek.
Sure, they're not colleagues that you're actually working on any projects with. In fact, most people who rent a desk at a coworking facility are freelancers, entrepreneurs, or employees with enviable telecommuting privileges. But they're professionals and they're working, which is more than you can say about the cat curled up in your lap as you surf the job boards from the confines of your kitchen table day after day.
Who knows? Besides giving you some much-needed human contact, your fellow coworkers may even toss you a job lead.
Karen Burns is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl, a career guide based on her 59 jobs over 40 years in 22 cities.
Lisa Quast is a certified career coach, mentor, business consultant, former corporate executive and author based in the Seattle area.
Randy Woods writes about job-search tools, networking techniques and other tips to help you land your dream job.
Matt Youngquist is the president of Career Horizons, a career counseling firm.
Natalie Singer is a Seattle writer, editor and small-business owner.
Michelle Goodman is the author of "My So-Called Freelance Life" and "The Anti 9-to-5 Guide."
Paul Anderson helps professionals in transition find their desired employment.
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