Monday, 4 April 2011

Are you a lawyer considering a career change?

Through my work as a career coach, many lawyers approach me saying they do not want to waste any more time and want a career change.  They have been unsatisfied with their legal career for years and as a consequence feel unfulfilled, desperately trying to picture a life with a rewarding job.  Does this resonate with you?

If you are considering a career change, take a moment to consider what is stopping you from enjoying your career in law.  The current negative trends in the press about lawyers leaving the legal profession may be responsible.  However, what about the control you have over your working life? 

As a lawyer, you have to manage a number of work demands within your job in law whilst achieving the best results.  These can be dealing with difficult clients, taking responsibility for a heavy case load or achieving chargeable time targets.  The demands you experience are numerous and mean that you are working under immense pressure every day.

Now think about what action you take to look after yourself when the pressure is getting to you and you are trying to deal with the inevitable challenges at work.  Do you react by just getting on with it because you feel there is nothing else you can do and you just have to cope with it?  You may even think you can’t comment on your heavy workload because you should be happy to have a job. 
This is all perfectly understandable.  However, this can lead to lawyers experiencing increased levels of stress as they become overwhelmed by the challenges they face.  Ultimately, they dislike their career in law and want a career change.

Whilst pursuing a career change can be right for some lawyers, there is an alternative option which can be equally effective and that is to take action to overcome the obstacles in your way.  Such action can often be as simple as asking for help more frequently, instead of sitting at your desk struggling for hours.   You don’t have to come up with the perfect solution at first.  If the action you take does not work, stop it and try something else.  Just changing the way you respond to challenges will relieve the pressure you place upon yourself and make way for an enjoyable legal career. 

Still wondering whether a career change is right for you and would like to know more about other careers, roles and jobs?  Click here for my factsheet for career and job ideas within and out of the legal sector.  You will also find resources on how a career coach may be able to help you.

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