I need to preface this by saying that I am not here to convince everyone to quit their job. Rather, this article is for those who find themselves miserable in careers that they worked hard to obtain. I know there are quite a few of you because the most recent Gallup poll found that 66% of workers are not engaged in their jobs.
I also know because I was one of you. I am the quintessential risk-averse, type-A personality. I decided at the ripe old age of eleven that I wanted to be a lawyer, put my head down, and followed the predictable path to law school, never once questioning what being a lawyer actually meant.
I checked all of the boxes, got good grades, and was cheered on by well-meaning friends and family. I was a “success.” Yet when I finally reached the finish line, I was miserable. For the first time, I stopped to evaluate what it meant to work as a lawyer. And I didn’t like it.
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Of course, there were glaring signs along the way that I wouldn’t like a career as a lawyer. I probably shouldn’t have ignored the fact that every lawyer I met tried to talk me out of going to law school – a discussion I would find myself repeating once I became a lawyer and happened upon an unsuspecting pre-law student. But here is the thing about our dreams, they’re rarely based in reality.
Most of us choose a dream job for nebulous reasons: Our family or teachers point us in that direction, we excel in certain tasks that are related to that field, the media glamorizes the profession, etc.
We jump in without understanding the stresses related to the job. We choose a career based on how we think it will make us feel. The power, admiration, creative freedom; All of these characteristics overshadow the reality. Not surprisingly, that dream job often turns out not to be all it was cracked up to be.
The reality is that […]