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It probably won't come as a surprise to hear that yet another study ranked lawyers highest among professionals when it comes to loneliness.
While there is plenty of advice out there to help lawyers avoid the dreaded curse of loneliness, it's not all good. However, below you'll find some pragmatic tips, courtesy of Above the Law, to avoid feeling isolated, even if you are a solo practitioner.
If you are your own boss, you need to plan out your own social interaction. And no, clients don't count as social interaction.
Join groups, associations, or even consider relocating your office into a suite where other attorneys also have offices. Make sure that your calendar is filled with as many networking events, association meetings, dinners, lunches, coffees, and mixers with other lawyers in your community as possible. Also, planning to spend time with your family, friends, and loved ones is very important, so control your calendar to make it happen regularly.
Sometimes, a person is lonely because they can't break out of an easy routine, and social interaction upsets that routine.
Do you struggle to be social? Do you hate networking? Are you an Eeyore? If so, challenge yourself to break out of your comfort zone. Just remember to keep professional interactions professional.
If you don't know why, consider talking to a professional to find out what's holding you back.
Perhaps the best way to avoid being lonely is to connect with like-minded people that can hold you accountable. Find another solo, or colleague, or a few who you can do a weekly/monthly check-in with to commiserate about work. Make it one of those things you plan ahead for (make it a recurring event on you and your commiseration buddy's calendars). Not only will doing so help you feel better about your work, this will help keep those people in your non-lawyer social life from wanting to tear their hair out in boredom when you talk about work.
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