So let’s say we begin to leave the law. We get a handle on our financial situation, we explore our Unique Genius, we get over … er somewhat mitigate … our fears, and we actually gain the courage to reach out to someone in our network for an informational interview over coffee on a weekday afternoon.
We rehearse our scripts, we sneak out of the office so no one wonders where we are going at 3pm. We know that the purpose of the informational interview is to research this person’s job and if we like what we hear, we want to see if we can get some leads of other similarly situated people we can talk to. We’re after opportunities. We are after possibilities. We are after expanding our net. We’re after abundance!
This person, let’s say a friend of a friend who works in tech (or branding or private equity or insurance or sales or marketing or HR), has generously agreed to take time out of his or her schedule to talk about him or herself and give us some insight into what their job is like. Sounds like a great plan.
We get seated, coffee tastes good, we’re full of energy, focused, surprisingly not-so-nervous, feeling confident until he or she asks:
“So tell me, why do you not want to be a lawyer anymore?”
And just like that, we’re immediately stumped. We’re tongue tied. We don’t really know.
Now hopefully this is a question you’ll have gone over and been truthful about as you explored your Unique Genius and why you even applied and went to law school in the first place. But if you didn’t touch on this question, or tried to and still can’t come to a good answer, that’s okay. Let’s explore one right now.
I think an answer to “Why do you not want to be a lawyer anymore?” is that it’s not that you don’t want to be a lawyer any longer. It’s just that you have realized that your skills set (your Unique Genius, your strengths, your enjoyments, what you’re confident at doing) is not really in-line with being a lawyer. You can sincerely explain that you are at a point where you know yourself well enough, have done enough lawyering, and you want to apply your skills and strengths in a more concrete way at a job, you want to optimize your enjoyments and interests, in another way (i.e. a non-legal job).
You can also tell this person that in life, you often find out what you like … and equally as valuable is finding out what you don’t like (or aren’t good at). And for many of us, it’s difficult but almost refreshing to say, that the law is not for us. And we’re ready to move onto something else, something else we feel we’ll be better at.
And here’s the kicker: contrary to conventional wisdom, a lawyer’s skills set IS highly applicable to and appropriate for, non-legal jobs. Many companies and non-profits and organizations are looking for and need people who are excellent at issue spotting, solving problems, calming clients, meeting deadlines, writing, upselling services, forming logical plans, retaining close customer contacts, performing deep analysis, comprehensive research, leading teams, being really smart, distilling complicated terms into simple language and helping people, etc., etc.
In short, turn a negative (“I don’t want to be …”) into a positive (“I think I’m actually better suited for …”). And then flip that abundance switch to on.
Like this approach? Have something better to propose? Think it’s crazy? Let us all know in the comments below. And the first three people that leave a comment below get a free 20 minute phone call with me to talk about whatever they want.