I spoke with a very unhappy attorney last week. She is dying to leave her job and leave law altogether. The firm life saps her of energy. She dreams of a more flexible schedule and satisfying day-to-day life.
But she stays. For job security.
The refrain I hear the most from attorneys who wish to leave the law, but cannot muster the courage to do so, is that they cannot contemplate a lack of job security.
What does security really mean? When we talk about “security”, we really mean financial security. We really mean having enough cash so that we can survive (and live reasonably well) for a certain period of time – 12 months, 24 months, 36 months – without a job or consistent income.
Having a job at a law firm or with the government does mean you receive a paycheck every two weeks. But it doesn’t mean you are necessarily secure. As we’ve seen in the past few years, things can change very quickly.
If you’re unhappy practicing the law, don’t let an illusory sense of security prevent you from living your dream. The only security in your life comes from you . . . managing your money well and investing in yourself.