Yes, you need to add it to your bucket list…co-working and collaboration (e.g., International Collaboration Day#iCollDay and CoWorkJax); I got my chance last week.

You see, I just started working from home at the beginning of January 2014. So far; so good. The downside is that I’m not around people on a daily basis while working from home. I miss being around creative’s and collaborating on projects. #iCollDay was an excellent opportunity to work with people and be around creativity and activity; it pushes me to be more productive.

When I saw this glorious Facebook post (ok, maybe I’m exaggerating a little) from CoWorkJax, I was giddy with excitement…and went ahead and registered. Nothing was going to stop me from trying this out and being with people!

CoWorkJax FB Posting

I was greeted by a very cheerful young lady named Mychael who made me feel welcome, almost as if she expected me. She graciously showed me around my temporary digs where I could “set up shop” for the day.

I nestled in near a wall of windows where I could see and hear the traffic, watching people walking down the sidewalk, while others were riding their bikes. I even caught myself squinting while looking out the window as the sun reflected off the downtown city buildings.

Side NoteSunshine is extremely important to me. You see, I grew up in Michigan where it seemed like the sun hid behind the cloudiness of the lake-effect snow (yes, I know, it’s Wikipedia). I crave the sunshine and can hardly function without it. This is one of the reasons why I now live in the Sunshine State!

Participants–Some people were already settled in when I got there, around 9 a.m.; started getting busy around noon. One guy appeared to be pretty comfy in the space he selected. He was facing inward toward a stairway enclosed in glass windows. He appeared to be a resident as he had a monitor and personal stuff. He also had a cup for his coffee and a snack. He was definitely deep in thought with a specific purpose trying not to be distracted by the newbies.

Beside and in back of him was a sweet looking young lady who chose a spot similar to mine, next to the window. I’m not sure who she was or what she did, but the local radio station did a quick interview with her regarding #iCollDay. She also appeared to be a native. She had cute little personal effects sitting on her desk area.

Later, a couple of newcomers’ arrived. They didn’t appear to know each other and both were greeted and shown around by Mychael. One of the gentlemen chose a window seat facing me and the other guy chose an aisle seat facing me. They both set up and immediately and got down to business. Both were very quiet and unassuming.

At noon, a large group of guys came in to the lunch area to eat. Not sure where they came from; I didn’t see them earlier. After lunch they gathered in a small collaboration area.

Background–I started freelancing solely at the beginning of January 2014. Prior to that, I had a corporate job doing social media and other communication projects. My job was no longer challenging and I felt that at this particular point in my life, I needed to stay and be happy with the status quo or “jump ship” and challenge myself to a career in the creative/marketing world where I would be challenged on a daily basis. Oh and did I tell you? I’m in my late 40s. Yep, I’m a late bloomer! I have a great family who are now grown and out on their own so I now have the time to focus on what I enjoy doing.

Nitty-Gritty–I enjoyed the experience immensely and will definitely consider renting space. The vibe is comfortable, inviting, creative and smart!

Location–can’t beat it. Downtown Jacksonville, Florida in an old building on the corner of Main Street and Forsyth
Parking–not bad at all; parked one block away for five bucks
People–friendly and accommodating
Facility–Cool; vintage yet modern. Lots of windows
Furniture–Comfy and stylish

It sure felt good to be around activity and engagement!

For more information on co-working opportunities, check out the CoWorkJax website.