December 16, 2010 | File under: Advice and Lessons
Yesterday’s article by Will Meyerhofer, “I Suck at Law” posted on his own website and on Above the Law seems to have really struck a chord with many people. Unsurprisingly, the haters came out full force on Above the Law, some leaving such thoughtful remarks as “and you suck at writing too” (the outpouring of sarcasm on ATL never ceases to amaze me). However, a handful of comments on that site, and the majority of comments on Mr. Meyerhofer’s site reveal that there are a lot of people out there who feel the same sense of disillusion, frustration, disgust, despair, regret and restlessness I felt in my former job as a law firm lawyer.
December 15, 2010 | File under: Advice and Lessons
I spent nearly a third of my life as a lawyer. Three years of law school and six years of working in a law firm. That’s nine years, not counting my undergraduate time leading up to law school. I’m 31. That’s a huge chunk of life devoted to a career that I ultimately left!
At the time I entered law school, I assumed I was in it for the long haul. I did not consider, nor was I prepared for, the possibility that a career in the law would not be a good fit for me. Had I been sensitive to this before I plunged into my legal studies, I may have put more thought into whether devoting all of my twenties (or more) to the profession was worth sacrificing the time I could have spent on other pursuits.
Instead, my careared perspective conditioned me to perceive only the positive ramifications of attending law school and becoming a lawyer: career opportunities, financial reward, social status. I did not consider that once I embarked on that path and assumed the financial burden of my schooling other paths would immediately become off-limits, or at least highly incompatible with the choices I had made.
December 8, 2010 | File under: Advice and Lessons • On the Job
Many of the people I know who have experienced burnout in their careers attribute their dissatisfaction as much to unpleasant people as to unfulfilling work. And most of the time, the people who present the greatest challenges to work with are supervisors who exhibit extremely poor managerial skills. Few professionals who hold supervisory power over others are actually trained in management. And even those who are often fall short in adhering to the rules of basic human respect that should be common sense to anyone having passed through kindergarten. I’m not sure what sort of people skills are taught in management courses, but having myself experienced the burnout that comes from dealing with inconsiderate people, I can offer a few reflections on the common-sense behaviors that should be mandatory for any manager.