Coworking Space Opens in Chicago Northside

Everyone brought a six-pack.

I knew these were “my kind of people”, as we termed them.

They read e-mails and followed directions to bring a six-pack.

Thursday, February 26th marked The Shift’s First Freelancer’s Exchange networking event.

The Shift is one of two co-working spaces (the other is Platform in Ravenswood) to open on the Northside of Chicago.

Off the Sheridan Red Line, the 80 Irving Park Bus or the 36 Broadway Bus, The Shift is right in Buena Park. It is near a coffee shop, liquor store, and pizza restaurant, and the infamous, Bar on Buena.

For the average freelancer searching for a  table and an outlet at Starbucks, it may be time to give a new environment a chance. Not only are there chairs for you, but comfortable chairs and ample desk space to call your own for the next four hours, or as this co-working space calls them, “shift”.

Brick interior, ample florescent lighting, and large windows letting in Chicago’s sun, northside Chicagoans are starting to make The Shift their office. Over the first three months, The Shift has attracted 36 new members.

The first of many events, the Freelancer’s Exchange brought together people with backgrounds in human resources, graphic design, marketing, writing and editing. Together, we had an open discussion about all things related to freelancers, including managing your brand, invoicing, and obtaining new clients.

Some had heard about the space from other organizations, like SheSays Chicago and Ms. Tech.

Being a freelancer means running your own business and there are many grey areas and new skill sets to be successful not just in your field, but as a business. As a group, we discussed invoicing, management apps, resources for finding new clients, and how to approach and conduct business.

By the end of the night, we had mixed more than a six.

The Shift is hosting numerous workshops for freelancers and business owners including fun classes and more business-savvy ones, as well. In April, sign-up here, to learn how to make probiotic drinks or sign-up here to learn how to use Twitter to promote your business or non-profit.

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