Although there is no “silver bullet” template, I can point you to the three elements of résumé writing that every attorney needs to know.
The first time I stumbled across my life coach’s website and saw her latest program on career change I remember thinking:
Why the hell would I change careers? I want to be a lawyer.
Fast forward a few years to me enrolling in her year-long mastermind to make sure I was able to quit practicing law by the time my firstborn arrived.
A prestigious, high-paying career. Fulfilling marriage. Happy kidlets. The physique of a 20-something despite the effects of pregnancy, a sedentary job and aging. I believed these were totally doable.
As for getting enough sleep, downtime to recharge, outings with gal pals, time and money for vacations, sick days, household upkeep, pet care and enjoying some GD peace and quiet once in a while?
Naive younger-me took all of these for granted. Present day-me could’ve killed for them.
I don’t love setting new year’s resolutions.
It’s tough enough for me to set personal and professional goals without all the pressure of “designing my perfect year” or “getting it right for the new year”.
That’s not to say I don’t set annual goals. I do. I even set them in December with the intention of starting fresh in January. (I know, so cliche.)
Oh, don’t act so shocked. You know it’s true.
Even if you’re an exceptionally sensitive lawyer, you’re still stuck dealing with other lawyers. And you’re not exactly a fan of being cut off, condescended to and treated as though your time isn’t as important as theirs.
So how would you feel about paying someone hundreds of dollars an hour to treat you the same way? All while trusting that person to solve one of the biggest problems you’ve ever had.
Sitting in the auditorium during orientation, I listened to various deans, distinguished alumni, and student leaders drone on about the rigors of earning a law degree.
There were obligatory mentions of not everyone making it to graduation (or even the end of the first week) and of the intense strain on personal relationships.
But the message I remembered most clearly was about uncertainty.
If I’m a great attorney who's good at my job, why would I quit?
Oh, I remember being in that headspace. For like...years.
The willingness to settle for less than I deserved. And to endure suffering I thought I did deserve. All coming from place of fear.
You'll probably recognize the inner monologue, which goes something like this:
Ever notice how craptastic you feel after engaging in a round of the comparison game?
Pining after a friend’s beautiful new home. Coveting a colleague’s flashy new car. Envying that acquaintance whose firm pays double what yours does.
You know, wondering why everyone else has a better life than you do.
One thing you probably haven’t thought about in relation to your legal career is whether or not you’re being true to your authentic self.
What does that even mean? Enough with the life coachy bullshit already!
I’m talking about being the person you truly are at your core.
Not the person your parents want you to be. Or that your friends see. Or that your boss expects.