Solo-workers. You’re not alone.
Two years ago I moved from being surrounded by 100 or so people every day to working alone. It was a cliff jumping experience. As a creative startup I needed to meet new people, but always hated the idea of ‘networking’, so made three decisions; (1) Don’t move in familiar circles. Creative forums would only have people similar to me and at that stage it was important to widen the circle (2) Don’t spend money on networking (cos you don’t have any!) and only go to free events. (3) Only go to interesting events.
I was amazed at a whole world of people and working that I was totally unaware of - and have met lots and lots of interesting, informative, enthusiastic people, doing things I never new existed. And realised I was not alone. At all.
Here are some of my favourite Dublin events, most of which take place before the ‘working day’ starts:
The #1stFridayBrekkie from the Dublin Commission for Startups takes place on the first Friday of the month on Custom House Quay. There’s breakfast a speaker or two and it’s very informal open crowd. It’s a bit tech-orientated so I generally have to ask twice what people do. Back to ‘things I never new existed’.
Also on the first Fridays, after the Brekkie, pop across to Dogpatchlabs in the CHQ building where you can meet more startups, join in on the very useful one-to-one mentoring and stick around for the always-interesting and always-brief Lightning Talks in their basement vaults - where they tend to have three speakers on a subject talking for about ten minutes each.
Also once a month is the fabulous Creative Mornings Dublin - part of a worldwide event where speakers around the world speak (more or less) at the same time on an appointed subject. It generally kicks off with music and of course there’s breakfast! provided by Coffee Angel and Bear Lemon. Last month’s speaker was Briony Somers editor of Franc magazine with a great wake-up by musician Dowry.
The RDS Economic Vision 2020 Series is always well attended with high-profile speakers from whom you will always learn something new. A little more formal in attire - just don’t wear shorts - but not at all stuffy.
If you work in or around the centre of town, drop in for an early morning coffee and art injection at 'Making Connections' in the Temple Bar Gallery & Studios. It’s a great space and you’ll meet friendly neighbours you didn’t know you had!
Lastly, just getting off the ground in the country's best creative co-working hub, The Tara Building (the same venue as Creative Mornings) is Entrepreneur Evenings an informal meet up and sharing of experiences and knowledge with other entrepreneurs and solo-workers.
Many of these events are taking a break for August, and most require you to pre-register, but all are free. Don’t be afraid to open a conversation with the person next to you.
Maybe see you there!