If you’re an unhappy lawyer, chances are good that important parts of your personality and your very being have been suppressed so that you can function in the dysfunction that is most law firms. If you are in career search mode, it’s helpful to give those suppressed aspects of yourself a little sustenance so you can choose a new career wisely.
In other words, embrace your entire self, rather than just the qualities that get rewarded at law firms. Well you don’t have to, but if you want to find satisfying, fulfilling work you need to.
Your entire self could be both an analytic and holistic thinker at different times, could crave solitude but also enjoy a raucous party occasionally, or could be a spitfire lurking under a calm exterior. People (that includes YOU, dear reader) are charming combinations of contradictions. As lawyers, we frequently try really hard to make ourselves logical combinations instead. That’s part of why lawyers can be so damned boring, frankly. They fear the contradictions and bury the interesting stuff about themselves.
When I was training to be a life coach, one of the most memorable session was when we brainstormed things we would like to see more of in each participant. We had to pick an archetype for the person, and some qualities of that archetype for the person to embrace.
My archetype? Lady Gaga. Ummmm, riiight. I know this admission just demonstrates my increasing levels of middle-aged fart-ness Continue reading