Post # 1
I’m feeling really down at the minute bees. I’m a lawyer (solicitor here in the UK) and I’m starting to realise after approx six years of training and seven years of working that I really, really don’t like my job.
I feel miserable at work and dread going in. I worry about work when I’m at home and feel like I’m constantly counting down when I’ll next be in, so even when I’m on ‘my’ time I feel it’s tainted.
I don’t want to write an essay on why I feel this way as it will make the post way too long, but I can elaborate in the comments if you need more context.
I have absolutely no problem with taking a pay cut and doing something totally different. I value my time/happiness far more than money, the problem is that I’m really unsure what my next move should be. I feel like I can’t make a plan because I don’t know WHAT to do.
I’ve spent my whole education/career focused on becoming one thing and now I don’t know what else I can do. The area of law I practice is very specialist so it doesn’t translate to working ‘in house’ at many places (or any at all).
Ideally I want a job where I can either make a difference/feel like I’m doing something positive, or at the very least where I can just leave my job at the door and switch off at home.
Bees who are happy in their jobs/careers, what do you do?
Post # 2
Our family business is a moderate sized publishing company. I studied English for my BA, and did some training within the PR realm since the job I would be taking over for was the press liaison. Everything was nice and tidy, my whole family thought it was a perfect fit and so did I.
With the press job, it technically should have been perfect, but the unsettled feeling didn’t leave because I knew how important it was to me to be more creative. Lots of heavy conversations insued between my family and boyfriend, but in the end I decided to step away from that position and did formal training in graphic design.
I now work on textbook design/illustrations, infographics, as well as posters and book covers. I love my job and the tangible products with my designs all over them. I’m now working on my children’s book more and more. The press liaison position could have been “fine,” but I would have felt stifled after a while.
Stepping away from the “safe” job was definitely one of the hardest things I’ve done so far. I don’t have any sage advice, but could further education for a new specialization be an option?
Post # 3
I used to recruit for one of the big three consulting firms and we had loads of lawyers move over to consulting. It’s not a 9-5 type role but it can have more variety.
i spent 4 years as a HR consultant at one of the big 4 professional services firms. I liked the variety but I hated my job after maternity leave.
having a year off really makes you think about work lol. I went back after mat leave and got pregnant straight away and I resigned after my second maternity leave. I love my new job lol.
I plan to return to work when the youngest is in school but then I don’t want a intense job, I’ve been there and done that.
What area of law is it?
Post # 4
I specialise in mental capacity law – specifically assisting with the affairs of vulnerable/disabled individuals who lack capacity.
As it isn’t a commercial/corporate area I can’t ‘jump ship’ to an in house job at a company somewhere, and I need to look into it more, but it likely won’t translate all that well to consultancy work either.
I love the clients and helping people, but I feel law firms ultimately only care about money, money, money. No matter how many clients you help, hours you bill, targets you exceed, it’s just never enough. It’s draining.
Post # 5
Funny enough, my major in undergrad was prelaw. I had guaranteed acceptance into a law school and was blessed to sit in on a few classes before completing my degree. Long story short, I HATED it. I didn’t know what to do with my life because I only ever imagined becoming a lawyer. I eventually stumbled into sales, first as a shoes salesperson. And I loved it. Sales at the core is all about talking to people, building relationships, and helping them with whatever product you’re selling. I transitioned into corporate sales and I now sell software (software as a service). The best paid sales is normally software and pharmaceutical, but I have some moral obligations against the latter. I absolutely love my job for multiple reasons. Every day looks different so no monotony. I meet and talk to new people, not just about work but about their personal lives too. I talk to some of the top companies in the country every day. I control my schedule and I work from home. There is no cap to my income because of commission. And I pull in a very healthy 6 figures plus. Also, no degree required. 😉
Post # 6
Are you me? I’m a lawyer and after six years of practice I also hate it. I’m working with a career coach on how to find new opportunities and market myself to them. She mentioned corporate communications as a good role for former attorneys. Of course, we are about to enter a serious economic slowdown so now is a bad time to be looking for jobs, but it doesn’t hurt to start laying the foundation!
Post # 7
Funnily enough I’ve been reading a lot recently about how it’s very common for lawyers to hate their jobs. Apparently though it is just one of those professions where it’s almost ‘cool’ to complain about your job/hours/stress and not do anything about it. I can relate to that as almost none of my colleagues talk positively about their work – we all lament about what we do and yet everyone just puts up with it.
I actually enjoyed my degree and most of my training. It was a few years after qualifying, and getting a particularly difficult boss, that I started to feel this way. I don’t mind the academic side of law I just can’t stand the culture of law firms. If you’re not prepared to essentially give up your life/hobbies/every scrap of free time and work till you drop then you’re just not committed enough.
Post # 8
I forgot to reply about your job! So pleased you’ve found something you love. Sales has never really appealed to me to be honest, and after never ending targets at my current job I would absolutely love a break from that awful word haha.
Post # 9
I’m definitely open to further education. I likely wouldn’t be able to commit to a whole new degree as we financially would struggle with losing my income for 3 years (I’m the breadwinner, but not by much).
I would be open to looking at studying something part time/working part time or taking a year off to study a one-year course. It’s just figuring out what!!
Post # 10
I’m also a lawyer and realised I hate working in a law firm a year after graduating.. I stumbled into a compliance role and while it’s not the most exciting stuff, it’s a lot better in terms of hours/flexibility/stress. I basically work 9-5 and if something is too difficult we get external lawyers to work on it!
Would you consider doing a company secretary course? That’s something I’m looking into now…
Post # 11
I was a lawyer too. Was being the operative.. I’m now a dairy farmer!
I didn’t hate being a lawyer, but I was at that ‘get serious or get out’ point in my career. At the small firm I worked for (for over 5 years) I was at the stage of deciding if becoming a partner was what I wanted. It was every lawyers dream; small family firm, complete autonomy with zero billing pressure, an excellent mentor and the opportunity to buy in.
but by this stage I’d met my now husband and moved to the country, and was commuting an hour each way. I spent so many hours sitting at my desk while my mind was on the farm, where I wanted to be spending more time. But knowing I could be there full time without driving us both crazy, lol. I also felt like law wasn’t something I could easily do part time, it kind of felt ‘all or nothing’.
the opportunity came up to take a job in dairy farming development, working with farmers 3 days per week to improve their employment practices (I studied HR as a double degree). It’s a mixture of office work and farm visits, pays pretty well and is very flexible.
Did I think for a minute my life would take this track? No; I didn’t even know people do my job! not sitting at a desk for 40 hours a week is much more my style. I won’t say that I absolutely love my job, I still work to live. But it is a job after all, and in the scheme of things it’s pretty good.
Post # 12
I’m not sure where you work, but years ago I did a project recruiting people who manages vulnerable people’s affairs … can’t remember what they were called. There were some small firms that applied but also individuals. You could set up for yourself doing that.
alternatively you might find going in house within the care sector could be an option?
Post # 13
So I’m a paralegal and came here to tell you how much I love it, but if you’re already a lawyer that’s not particularly helpful! But I would definitely try to either move into another area of law or even just another firm. I was miserable at my last firm. The work was terrible, the people sucked, and I was simultaneously bored and stressed every day. I’ve been at my current firm for 5 years and it’s a completely different experience! I’m not sure if I want to work in this field forever but I have told my husband this is my last law firm – the only way I’d leave is for a career change.
Post # 14
I might look into this. A friend is a company secretary so I will ask her about it, thanks.
wow that sure is a career change!!
was this in the UK? If you have anymore information and could DM me that would be great 🙂
Yeah there is a part of me that is wondering if my firm is the problem rather than the industry as a whole. The issue is finding another job at a law firm, in my already very niche area, in the middle of a pandemic when everyone is tightening their belts will be tricky!! Definitely not ruling it out though.
Post # 15
I’m sorry I know nothing about law lol as I’m a nurse but I would think as a lawyer that there is a lot you can do with it, no?
Could you create your own firm? Excuse my ignorance, as I have zero idea about law but I would imagine you could do a lot of things…medical malpractice, entertainment, employment, immigration, real estate…
I’m sure you know much better than I what you’re qualified for but maybe you just need to make a jump to a completely different area of law and try it out?
I now work in a job that I love and it took me awhile to get here but I am finally happy with my full-time job! I work for an insurance company (although I am itching to get back into surgery on the side- perhaps in the fall since I miss it). I knew I didn’t enjoy working the floor in the hospital but I also knew that there was a lot I could do with nursing so I’m so glad I went into nursing.
Don’t give up on your profession yet. I wanted to for a long time and it just took me switching to something totally different in my field to find something that works for me. Good luck!