Stuck in the office for the rest of your life? Time to create beach reading time for yourself, even if your only travel plans are to and from the office for the foreseeable future. If you really want to embrace the idea, put on your bathing suit and find an umbrella to sit under. At the very least, get a cold drink, stick a tacky paper umbrella in it, curl up on the couch, and put your nose into a book for a few hours.
Even when those 500 lawyers finished talking about the email, it still left an emotional mark on those who already were unhappy about the firm and the profession. Emails like Morrison’s are a trigger. They set off waves of unrest and dissatisfaction, if not outright plunges into depression and anxiety. Focus gets lost, and it’s hard to regain. So you have a bunch of lawyers who are not thinking well or clearly. They may end up doing substandard work, which means that other people have to review work and catch mistakes (cha-ching!) that they wouldn’t have had to do otherwise. And the distracted lawyer has to fix stuff (more cha-ching!). Plus it makes it hard for many of them to even drag themselves to the office the next day, or get to work at all, if the experiences of me and my clients is any indicator.
So it’s Friday, and high time for a little fun. I’ve concocted a poll that might make you smile, just
There are so many of you out there who are utterly convinced that staying in law is a path of safety and certainty, and that you would be wildly irresponsibleto leave. The fact that staying in law is contributing to your chronic health problems, and triggering or worsening your depression and anxiety, are simply risks that you ignore as blithely as getting into your car daily.
The hardest part of a life change for lawyers, whether it’s your career or other important parts of your life, usually is the waiting. In our go-go, get-it-done-NOW culture, waiting is seen as weak, passive, and therefore completely unacceptable. Unfortunately, it’s also very necessary for any big change to occur. Miserable lawyers, especially, hate this fact.
So when I hear clients say, “But I’ve put so much time and effort into law, I don’t just want to walk away,” I quietly gnash my teeth. In my head, that statement translates to “But I’ve put so much time and energy into killing my soul, I can’t stop now!”
If your dream job and life seem like a million miles from where you are, your next job probably won’t be your dream job. But with some dreaming and then some thinking, you can make that next job one of the bridges that gives you more of what you need to get you there in the end.
But usually, lawyers derail themselves because they can’t see every arc and bend of this new, uncertain path. Because, like the rest of us, they’re not psychic. But unlike many people, lawyers are somehow convinced they must know the end, and every step along the way, before they begin.
One of the biggest complaints my clients have is that they don’t even have time to think, they’re so busy and overworked. Hmmm, really? It’s a great hairshirt to moan about. Occasionally, it’s even the reality of the situation. But often, when I probe, I find electronic pacifiers attached to the problem.
Humanity is not really a quick study, when you look at our emotional history. We keep facing the same problems of spirit, just in different guises, and we have for millennia. And lawyers for the most part have become lawyers because they make the same flawed spiritual choice that the Israelites did several millennia ago.