What Do I Need to Consider As a Lawyer Making a Career Change?

The American Bar Association has over 1.1 million licensed attorneys. Some people grow up knowing they want to be a lawyer. Becoming a lawyer is an arduous process. It requires long years of schooling with difficult tests and exams. However, the process of working towards getting one’s degree and actually working as a lawyer are very different. Many people find themselves feeling stressed and eventually burnt out when they’re on the wrong career path. A lawyer career change might be on the horizon if the feelings don’t go away.

A Lawyer to Teacher Career Change: Would a Drastic Change Make You Happy?

There are numerous tales of working professionals making a drastic change in their careers. The more stunning stories usually involve the switch from a strict profession to one that is much more relaxed. This is odd for those on the outside looking in, as a big paycheck is often falsely assumed to be the biggest indicator of career happiness. Yet there are other important considerations when determining satisfaction with one’s job.

How to Recognize When It’s Time For a Career Change.

A lawyer career change would likely not come out of the blue. There would be clear signs that build over time. What signs can indicate a career change is on the horizon? It’s fairly simple actually. When there are indications of burnout over a period of time, something will need to change. Burnout starts off as feeling a little stressed from work, but you feel that it is manageable. But then the fatigue starts to be ever-present, and you dread going to work.

Burnout does not come all at once, there are stages. Signs of a burnout originating from your career are fairly easy to spot in the later stages. The early start of career fatigue is a bit more difficult to distinguish from regular tiredness from a long day or week. However, if burnout is not addressed early on it will evolve and take over your life.

Transitioning to the Career That will Fulfill You.

If your current career doesn’t fulfill you, it can be daunting to consider a career change. You chose one path that ended, how do you know your next decision won’t end the same way? One method of relieving anxiety surrounding your next career choice is to closely examine what made you abandon the first. Make a list and include everything from commute times to work schedules to the scheduled break times. Income earned should be at the bottom of the list.

Why is money at the bottom of the list? Because worrying about the money you would be bringing home probably got you into the job you are dissatisfied with now. During a lawyer career change, you’ll want to focus on what you are looking for in a career now that you have more experience with what you don’t want.

Is It Bad For Your Long-term Prosperity to Change Careers?

Some experts estimate the average worker will change jobs anywhere from 10 to 15 times throughout their life. If that number seems on the high side, remember that it includes all of the jobs a person holds throughout their life, from part-time entry level jobs to high stress careers. It is perfectly fine to change careers if you are unsatisfied to the point that you are unhappy with your life. Doing so actually puts you in good company.

A good job is subjective. It is one that brings you satisfaction, a sense of purpose, and hopefully provides you with the life you want. This doesn’t necessarily mean it will be a high paying job, as money doesn’t guarantee lasting happiness. When making a lawyer career change, choose satisfaction first, and money second.

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