For the past five years or so, I’ve been reading career-advice stories. It has been fun reading Harish Bhat, who is erudite and funny, and Hema Ravichandar, who is scholarly and insightful. I am hoping they are here today too. It has been helpful understanding how to manage those who matter, your manager and your underlings, how to get along with colleagues, deal with unrealistic expectations, key responsibility areas, key performance indicators, recruiters, office gossip, errant minions and so on. I must have read about 300,000 words right here on how to improve my chances of survival in the workplace.

All those words largely said one thing: In the workplace, the odds are stacked against you. How do you free yourself of workplace problems?

One solution is working solo. Alone. Independently. Without colleagues. That way, you don’t have to deal with any of the above, right?

Over the past few months, as an independent consultant who has no colleagues, no company and no human resource department (HR) to worry about, I’ve been making notes. Those notes have been steadily converted to tweets. Here are the Seven Small Joys of Working Solo that you may want to consider:

u There is no plan. No one can mess with it. It’s a bulletproof life. And you don’t have to read tomes on HR. I’ve never had a quarterly plan or target. Wait a minute, that isn’t true. I have had a plan. It has been the same one for as long as I can remember: I work for a client; make sure the client wins. Do that—again and again—and you win.

u No need to party with the HR department in attendance to demonstrate bonding in the workplace. There is no HR department. When I worked for a company—like it or not—I had to “socialize" with everyone. But life is not like that: You have likes and dislikes. As an independent consultant, there is no one to dislike but yourself.

u There is no chance of being misquoted by colleagues. There are no colleagues. I’ve had HR come crashing down on me because colleagues went and kvetched, often—and sometime purposely—misconstruing what I had said. You have faced that, haven’t you? Puff! I got rid of colleagues.

u You can’t hold a grudge against a colleague. Ditto, see above. It works the other way round too. I often complained about colleagues—and honestly, the complaints were justified and they deserved it. Okay, maybe not all the time. But now that I work on my own, I don’t have a muddied conscience.

u You can solve almost any problem with a bag of potato chips. No need to call in the HR department. This is my favourite outcome of being on my own. No problem has been so complex that I couldn’t deal with it. And every time, I have been the problem and the solution.

u You are never HR’s high-impact Plan A in the workplace for anything. Ergo: less stress. Working independently, you don’t need to set examples, show the way or become a role model for your team. Either your client is happy or you go hungry. It’s a simple framework for survival.

u No one from HR is coming at 5.50pm, saying “Strategy huddle in 10 minutes" to deal with a crisis. HR can’t ever ruin another day. How often has HR come and rung an alarm bell just when you thought the weekend was here? HR appears to have no sense of time, no respect for personal plans and seems heartless. As an independent consultant, you still have to deal with emergencies (oh, those don’t go away). But at least you don’t blame HR!

Arun Katiyar is a content and communication consultant with a focus on technology companies. He is a published author with HarperCollins. You can argue with him on the merits of working solo on Twitter @arunkatiyar.

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