Tag Archives: law school

Hold On: One Day You Will Be Doing What You Love

9 Aug

How many of you know someone who is unhappy with their job? I know a lot of people who feel this way, and because of the economy I am sure you do too. When you ask these people why they don’t like their jobs, what do they tell you? If you are asking someone from Gen Y they are probably going to tell you that they don’t like their job because they aren’t doing something they LOVE. Am I right?

Well, for those of you out there who feel that you are stuck at a boring job doing something you hate and fear that this will be your life, I am here to tell you that if you hold on, get the experience you need, and move up the career ladder you will be closer to the job of your dreams than you think.

Here is one of my favorite stories about how the job you hate doesn’t have to be your last job.

Take Emily Giffin, my favorite author (yes, I LOVE chick-lit books). Emily went to law school because she felt like she needed to get a “real” job before taking a stab at becoming a fiction writer. Does she regret going to law school? No. But she didn’t like the practice of law one bit. In fact, here is what Emily has to say: “I loathed the actual practice of law—at least the big firm culture. And I discovered that misery can be quite motivating. So very early on, I devised a plan to pay off my law school loans and then write full-time. Meanwhile, I began writing a young adult novel in my free time (and sometimes while at work!). Four years later, my loans were paid off and my book was completed. I was able to land an agent, but over the next several months, I received a dozen rejection letters from publishers. I seriously contemplated giving up and keeping my nose to the legal grindstone, but instead, I quit my job, moved to London and decided to try again. It was then and there that I began writing Something Borrowed.” Now, years later, Emily has 6 New York Times Bestselling novels, many loyal Facebook followers, and never has to step foot in a courtroom.

So, if you are stuck working at a job that you loathe, what can you do to make your time there worth while and make sure you don’t drive yourself crazy?

BUILD PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS

If you build relationships with the people in your office you won’t feel so alone. Now, I would be very careful discussing your feelings about your job with these people, because you would never want these feelings to get back to your boss. But there is no harm in being friends with your co-workers and going to lunch with them. Heck, these relationships could eventually lead to a job that you will LOVE. As my mom always told me – its not what you know, its who you know.

GET INVOLVED

Remember, if you are one of those people trying to move up and on to something better, getting involved in tasks beyond your skill level will help you build your resume and enhance your skills. This could be something that you work on with someone else, or it could purely be a project to help the company as a whole run more smoothly, operate more efficiently, or strive to solve some of the problems that co-workers have been complaining about. The more you get involved in than just those tasks that make up your job description the more you will grow professionally – and that never hurts.

MAKE SURE THAT THE JOB YOU WANT IS REALLY WHAT YOU THINK IT IS

It is one thing to think that being something sounds cool, but it is another thing to actually experience it. Take Emily for example. She went to law school, loved it, and then ended up hating the practice of law. She never would have known that had she not ventured into legal practice out of law school. So, for those of you who think that you want to venture into a certain type of job, make sure that the job really is what you think it is. How do you do this? Get a mentor that works in the field and ask them if you can follow them for a day, two days, or a week. Being able to see what they do on a daily basis will give you some insight into whether or not you will really enjoy that job.

HOLD ON – THE END IS NEAR

In the end, we all can’t be doing what we love right away. Getting to the top and getting where we want takes time and patience. So, while you are building relationships, building your skills, and making sure that your dream job is the right job for you – hold on. Eventually you will end up where you are supposed to.

Figuring Out What You Want To Do With Your Life

29 Jun

The other day I was talking to one of my good friends about where we saw ourselves in 10 years. While there is no doubt that my friend’s receptionist job is right for her right now in this transitional period in her life, she was clear that she didn’t think she saw herself doing that forever. So she asked me, what do you see me doing? I thought about it, about the things the she is interested in, and told her that I think she would be a great personal trainer and fitness coach. She agreed, happily, smiling like had never seen her smile. It was clear from that moment that fitness was her passion and that eventually she should be doing something in that field.

But what? How do you know what you want to do?

When we are little our parents always ask us what we want to be when we grow up and we give them answers – a doctor, a lawyer, a teacher, an actor, etc. But what do you do when you are a grown up and you are still not sure what you want to do with the rest of your life? Not many of us have the luxury of quitting our day jobs to really find out what it is that we want, so how on earth is one supposed to determine, out of every job out there, that one particular job is what they want to spend the rest of their life doing?

Like a lot of people I went to college and then, because getting a college degree is not enough these days, made the decision to go to law school. I am happy, for the most part, that I went to law school – mostly because I met my husband there, but also because I really, thoroughly enjoyed it. I enjoyed the challenge of having to basically learn a new language and loved seeing the results when I got the highest grade in the class on the final exam. So then, when I graduated, I took the bar exam and attempted to get a “lawyer-like” job.

My first job was as inside counsel to a small Atlanta firm. I was grateful for the opportunity and for the fact that my boss was simply amazing – one of the nicest, most genuine people I have ever met. But then I discovered that I didn’t particularly like sitting at my desk daily not having very much to do on some days. So I put my feelers out there and landed a totally different job – a job as a litigation attorney at a law firm. I have only been working here 6 months so I don’t really know if this is what I want to spend the rest of my life doing. I do know that I enjoy it, but I also know that I have a lot of other goals and dreams besides being an attorney – I want to write a fiction novel that gets published (right now I have started tons of books but have only finished one) and I would love to do a fitness competition. What I don’t know is if one of those goals – writing or being a fitness competitor – could possibly be the thing I want to do with the rest of my life.

I read an article by the Daily Muse on Forbes that interested me. It was about this very subject – how you find what you want to do with the rest of your life. The author of the article talks about hating their desk job, which according to the article is quite common. So what did they do? They quit their job and tried to meet with as many people in the field that they thought they were interested in. They set up meetings to ask people for their advice and made appointments to shadow various people for an entire day. What result did this have? It confirmed that what they thought they wanted to do they in fact did want to do.

I think this article is a good read and should be read by anyone struggling to find their passion. It has inspired me to reach out to those around me. While you might not be able to quit your job and travel to meet with people, you can talk to people doing what you like in your town. Take them to lunch, email them, and ask them to tell you about their journey and about how they found their passion.

Have you ever sat back and wondered why you were working at a job you hated only to realize you had no idea what you really wanted to do with your life? What did you do to discover your passion? What advice would you give others?