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I'm Dale, the author of Going 1099

Swedish Fika to build relationships

Published about 2 months ago • 1 min read

One of the reasons I wanted to go 1099 was because I'm not really a team player.

I like to do my own thing.

I always rolled my eyes at company parties at social events. They always seem forced and awkward.

So going 1099 was right for me.

BUT, there is a risk you can isolate yourself. Going solo means you actually need to be more deliberately social than if you work for a bigger company.

This WSJ article wrote about a Swedish tradition called, "Fika," which is basically a planned group coffee break.

Sweden Has a Caffeinated Secret to Happiness at Work

"Pronounced “fee-kah,” the Swedish culture of breaking for coffee involves much more than a schlep to Starbucks. It’s meant to be a deliberate pause to provide space and time for people to connect ...

“Fika is where we talk life, we talk everything but work itself,” said Micael Dahlen, professor of well-being, welfare and happiness at the Stockholm School of Economics. The ritual helps drive trivsel, he says, a term that means a combination of workplace enjoyment and thriving. The concept is so fundamental to Swedish workplaces that many companies in Sweden have trivselcommittees, he said."

Sounds pleasant! And I believe, if done right, it works.

There are two ways I did something similar on my projects:

  • Set up a coffee run to the Starbucks in the building with my colleagues
  • Set up happy hours

The coffees were more frequent and I'd chat with my colleagues on the way to the Starbucks, in line, and for a few minutes when we were back in the office.

Happy hours were maybe once per quarter and it'd offer a longer time window (in a mildly intoxicated state) for deeper bonding.

It achieved a few things:

  • Made me a few friends
  • Gave me good intel/gossip about work stuff
  • Put me in a favorable position to ask for help later

It's also fun for what it's worth.

Put in a little effort into establishing your own "Fika" ritual. It's worth it.


If you're interested in learning how to get your first solo 1099 federal sub-contract, check out my book:

Going 1099: How to become a solo federal sub-contractor and gain control of your working life, earn more money and unlock more free time

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I'm Dale, the author of Going 1099

Going 1099 is a book that teaches you how to become a solo federal sub-contractor and gain control of your working life, earn more money and unlock more free time. I wrote it because quite a few people have asked me how they can become a 1099. I figured it was best to write a single book that I can send them and that I can share with others who are interested. This newsletter goes out Monday - Friday and covers topics that will help you succeed in starting and maintaining successful 1099 career.

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