We spend a lot of time complaining. My salary’s too low. My bosses don’t appreciate my hard work. My clients are high maintenance. On and on we go.
In all, many lawyers manage to convince themselves that they hate their jobs.
But sometimes it behooves us to pause for a minute and think about the wonderful aspects of our profession.
Here are 5 things that I’m grateful for in my career. What are yours?
This is first for me, because I’ve had the privilege from day 1 to work with wonderful people. There have been ups and downs, and I’ve made my fair share of stupid comments along the way, but from first day I walked into a legal office, I have been privileged to work with smart, dedicated, enthusiastic legal professionals who genuinely wanted to make a difference in their clients’ lives.
As a husband and father, and the primary “bread winner” for my family, I have a responsibility to provide.
I am grateful that the law has always provided me with the necessary funds to live up to the commitments I have made.
Money is high on the list of priorities for many young lawyers I know. So to them I say this: you are in a profession that can provide well, but make sure your advances don’t come at too high a price in other areas.
My gratitude is not for great wealth, stocks or hidden overseas cash – my gratitude is that my income has allowed my family to be content. Not everyone is so lucky.
An Escape from My Shell
I am a bit of an introvert.
In fact, given a choice between a party and being home alone – I will happily choose the latter every day of the week.
The law, however, has taught me to be more gregarious, and to take more joy in interactions with others. It wasn’t too many years ago that I would be the guy who didn’t want to go to any function, speak with any person.
I remain an introvert.
But I’m more social about it.
Not a day has gone by where I haven’t learned something new to apply to my legal career.
From how to speak (or not speak) with clients, how to use marketing events well, how to network, write articles and the myriad of soft skills that I have learned over the years, all the way to the black letter law that I have learned through innumerable interactions, matters, seminars, books and materials.
The opportunity for continual growth is one that I very much appreciate.
A Riddle Every Day
I am motivated by problem solving – it’s one of my great loves in the law.
So in my areas of practice I have a never ending supply of opportunity to meet that desire. Clients have complex issues, and it is my great privilege and pleasure to help them, as best I can, solve those issues.
Sometimes I can’t. It took me many years to get used to that truth.
However often I can offer something – perhaps not what the client wanted, and perhaps something nobody had thought of before – but a solution nonetheless.
Not many people think of lawyers as creative, but in problem solving and complex issues our opportunity to be creative starts to appear.
What about you?
Let me know in the comments – what’s something you are grateful for in your legal career so far?
Reminding yourself of these (just as I’ve done here) is a great way to keep up the motivation!