Many of us who are unhappy practicing the law and looking to leave it often feel stuck right now. We feel that we may have lost our way. We feel like we’re not exactly where we want to be. We wonder if all we’ve worked for was the right thing to do. We wish we could go back and change time.
We could be falling short in a recent comparison with our (ostensibly) successful friends. We could have this general, vague, foggy feeling that we’re not living up to what we thought we would accomplish.
And some of us think that we’re too old to change things for the better. Our window of time may appear to be closing.
If we’re not a partner yet, we think we should have been made partner by now. If we’re not an equity partner yet, we think we should have been made equity partner by now. If we are an equity partner . . . we wonder why we are still unhappy.
This problem will persist so long as we continue to stick to outdated, unrelated plans. Many unhappy attorneys judge their success based on what their friends think is success or what their family thinks is success or on what they themselves thought success should be . . . back five, ten, fifteen, twenty years ago.
We can’t go on judging ourselves based on outdated criteria. Our ideas of success (and along with it our view on happiness, satisfaction and self-worth) all need to be periodically tuned up.