Author Topic: Dilemma- possible new job offer for burnt out attorney...but...  (Read 2935 times)

DealingWithDreams

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Hi there! I've read through every post about employment frustration because I have one of my own. Last week, I decided that I was going to put out feelers for a new job.  I have something that might come through (I was very strongly urged by the hiring attorney to submit my resume). Have you ever been in a situation where you might complain and are unhappy, but could suck it up for a few more years or maybe forever because you have a family? And ..also....compared to other attorney friends, you don't have it *that* bad? Well, that's where I'm at.

Current job:
-$83k base with extra  1-2k yearly based on weekend time, $1500 bonus at christmas (no other benefits, just salary; I pay insurance premiums of about $7k/year for the family)
-45-55 minute commute each way (owner doesn't like me to work from home, so I make the trek nearly every day)
-hours are pretty manageable
-I don't get micromanaged but owner can be eccentric at times
-I pretty much hate the practice area (I will never avoid doing this area as long as I am at this firm) and it is very high stress
-no partner track or other ownership interest; I am probably capped at my salary


Potential new job:
-new practice area that I have been interested in for years and I would be trained by the best
-very respectable position that would likely lead to other job offers (the previous attorney that held this position just got an offer from a big firm, making six figures)
-much closer - 15 minutes away
CONS: the salary is likely in the 60s at most and is a 1-2 year assignment. However, it would have benefits like insurance and employer match/retirement (so, I would not have to pay 7k in premiums/year).


What else should I consider? What else should I be thinking about? I have a mortgage and student loans (owe $110k) so I am not financially independent. Should I just stick with current job and get over it? I can certainly keep looking, but since I would be new to the practice area I am looking to get into, I don't think I'll see any offers close to what I am making now.







elliha

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Re: Dilemma- possible new job offer for burnt out attorney...but...
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2018, 07:51:18 AM »
If the new job excites you and the old one don't that is worth a lot. Personally I would go for the new job as long as the lower salary doesn't mean you have to get into depth or so. You say you have a chance of a better offer later and then the difference would even out.

erutio

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Re: Dilemma- possible new job offer for burnt out attorney...but...
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2018, 07:53:04 AM »
Quote
However, it would have benefits like insurance and employer match/retirement (so, I would not have to pay 7k in premiums/year).
That alone makes up for most of the salary difference, especially if you can max the 401k.
-much closer - 15 minutes away
This seals the deal.

Quote
-new practice area that I have been interested in for years and I would be trained by the best
This is the cherry on top.

erutio

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Re: Dilemma- possible new job offer for burnt out attorney...but...
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2018, 08:01:51 AM »
Also, use your current salary as a negotiating chip.
Tell them that you like the new firm and would even take a pay cut to work for them, but would need them to meet at least halfway at 75k, something like that.

Davids

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Re: Dilemma- possible new job offer for burnt out attorney...but...
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2018, 08:06:15 AM »
Isn't that quite low for an attorney?

DealingWithDreams

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Re: Dilemma- possible new job offer for burnt out attorney...but...
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2018, 08:12:13 AM »
yes, 60s is quite low. (Even my current salary is on a lower-medium scale, but definitely liveable and comfortable for me)

LouLou

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Re: Dilemma- possible new job offer for burnt out attorney...but...
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2018, 09:12:42 PM »
Attorney here. TAKE THE NEW JOB.

It sounds like you are working for an eccentric solo practitioner in a practice area you don't even like. Get out of there! If this offer doesn't work out, find a different job.

Negotiate the salary and get out of there!

Civex

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Re: Dilemma- possible new job offer for burnt out attorney...but...
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2018, 09:25:28 PM »
Hi there! I've read through every post about employment frustration because I have one of my own. Last week, I decided that I was going to put out feelers for a new job.  I have something that might come through (I was very strongly urged by the hiring attorney to submit my resume). Have you ever been in a situation where you might complain and are unhappy, but could suck it up for a few more years or maybe forever because you have a family? And ..also....compared to other attorney friends, you don't have it *that* bad? Well, that's where I'm at.

Current job:
-$83k base with extra  1-2k yearly based on weekend time, $1500 bonus at christmas (no other benefits, just salary; I pay insurance premiums of about $7k/year for the family)
-45-55 minute commute each way (owner doesn't like me to work from home, so I make the trek nearly every day)
-hours are pretty manageable
-I don't get micromanaged but owner can be eccentric at times
-I pretty much hate the practice area (I will never avoid doing this area as long as I am at this firm) and it is very high stress
-no partner track or other ownership interest; I am probably capped at my salary


Potential new job:
-new practice area that I have been interested in for years and I would be trained by the best
-very respectable position that would likely lead to other job offers (the previous attorney that held this position just got an offer from a big firm, making six figures)
-much closer - 15 minutes away
CONS: the salary is likely in the 60s at most and is a 1-2 year assignment. However, it would have benefits like insurance and employer match/retirement (so, I would not have to pay 7k in premiums/year).


What else should I consider? What else should I be thinking about? I have a mortgage and student loans (owe $110k) so I am not financially independent. Should I just stick with current job and get over it? I can certainly keep looking, but since I would be new to the practice area I am looking to get into, I don't think I'll see any offers close to what I am making now.

That right there is worth the pay cut. I had a similar commute for 2 years and even if you don't realize it now, it really is killing you. It is terrible for your body to sit that long and the added stress and time away from family is crazy. That's nearly a part time job driving. At my current position I offered to take a $15/hour pay cut largely to get rid of a similar commute (going down from 50 minutes on a good day to 15) and I only worked 14 days/month.

Do it! Enjoy sleeping in occasionally (or morning workouts) and being home in the evenings!

Jaayse

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Re: Dilemma- possible new job offer for burnt out attorney...but...
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2018, 05:45:45 AM »
Take the new job is my vote.

65,000 + 7,000 + 1,540 + 3,924 + 2,600 = 80,064

Salary + Insurance cost + Taxes paid on money for insurance at 22% (unless this was pre-tax) + less distance (a guess on the miles based on a 40mph average for 30 minutes) (.545 * 20 miles * 30 days * 12 months) + 4% match on 65,000 (guess)

You're not as far off as you think for the salary, and with a little negotiation, you might even come out ahead while practicing in a field you prefer with greater future employment opportunities. 

DealingWithDreams

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Re: Dilemma- possible new job offer for burnt out attorney...but...
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2018, 12:39:57 PM »
I sincerely thank everyone for reading and posting.

I have a LOT of fear about leaving what I am used to...

As far as bosses go, yes my current one has "whims" but they usually pass and things are back to normal. We do not get micro managed - which is a huge deal to me because my attorney friends at other firms all mostly have their bosses breathing down their necks. I don't think this new one would be micromanaged but I would have a boss that is there everyday...

I think I should at least apply for this job and see where the numbers fall...

DealingWithDreams

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Re: Dilemma- possible new job offer for burnt out attorney...but...
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2018, 12:55:47 PM »
Attorney here. TAKE THE NEW JOB.

It sounds like you are working for an eccentric solo practitioner in a practice area you don't even like. Get out of there! If this offer doesn't work out, find a different job.

Negotiate the salary and get out of there!

Yes, I def need the salary to be higher....the market here is pretty saturated with lawyers as it is, so I am a bit hesitant to leave what I have for a 1-2 year gig....

DealingWithDreams

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Re: Dilemma- possible new job offer for burnt out attorney...but...
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2018, 01:19:17 PM »
Take the new job is my vote.

65,000 + 7,000 + 1,540 + 3,924 + 2,600 = 80,064

Salary + Insurance cost + Taxes paid on money for insurance at 22% (unless this was pre-tax) + less distance (a guess on the miles based on a 40mph average for 30 minutes) (.545 * 20 miles * 30 days * 12 months) + 4% match on 65,000 (guess)

You're not as far off as you think for the salary, and with a little negotiation, you might even come out ahead while practicing in a field you prefer with greater future employment opportunities.

this really helps a lot.. I didn't think about the taxes on the insurance....

Hargrove

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Re: Dilemma- possible new job offer for burnt out attorney...but...
« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2018, 03:07:31 PM »
Flip the situation around.

You're 75 and you are writing the book about your life. You had the opportunity to pursue something you wanted to do at

a) a good pay rate
b) a manageable pay rate
c) a really tough pay rate

and decided to

1) stick out rougher work for higher pay that gave you a great family life
2) follow a passion and risk financial some financial comfort for satisfaction
3) follow a passion, throwing caution to the wind like a NYC mime

By my count, job 2 is around option B2, and I would take B2 myself, twice. Your premiums plus commute at current job basically make it barely an advantage over the lower-paying job. The family benefit, therefore, is actually probably not real - you're losing a lot of time to the commute for almost no financial gain. Finally, you point out the "risky" move is very likely to lead to more money than the safe move.

So, uh, congratulations!

ZMonet

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Re: Dilemma- possible new job offer for burnt out attorney...but...
« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2018, 06:53:47 AM »
Attorney here. TAKE THE NEW JOB.

It sounds like you are working for an eccentric solo practitioner in a practice area you don't even like. Get out of there! If this offer doesn't work out, find a different job.

Negotiate the salary and get out of there!

Yes, I def need the salary to be higher....the market here is pretty saturated with lawyers as it is, so I am a bit hesitant to leave what I have for a 1-2 year gig....

The fact that the legal profession is saturated is all the more reason you need to move on to move up.  With that said, you haven't got an offer yet.  There is just some interest.  Submit your resume, get an interview, and see what they have to say.  IF you get the job, the math already makes sense and could make even more sense if you negotiate a little, so what would likely be holding you back at that point is a fear of change.  Don't be a slave to it -- not even when your current employer offers you more money when he sees you are serious about walking out the door!
« Last Edit: July 30, 2018, 06:57:37 AM by ZMonet »

Jaayse

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Re: Dilemma- possible new job offer for burnt out attorney...but...
« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2018, 07:40:42 AM »
Take the new job is my vote.

65,000 + 7,000 + 1,540 + 7,848 + 2,600 = 83,988

Salary + Insurance cost + Taxes paid on money for insurance at 22% (unless this was pre-tax) + less distance (a guess on the miles based on a 40mph average for 60 minutes) (.545 * 40 miles * 30 days * 12 months) + 4% match on 65,000 (guess)

You're not as far off as you think for the salary, and with a little negotiation, you might even come out ahead while practicing in a field you prefer with greater future employment opportunities.

I realized that the commute was both ways an extra 30 minutes... so double that mileage cost.  Wow, that is even closer to what you already make.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2018, 07:44:41 AM by Jaayse »

DealingWithDreams

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Re: Dilemma- possible new job offer for burnt out attorney...but...
« Reply #15 on: July 30, 2018, 05:02:24 PM »
Attorney here. TAKE THE NEW JOB.

It sounds like you are working for an eccentric solo practitioner in a practice area you don't even like. Get out of there! If this offer doesn't work out, find a different job.

Negotiate the salary and get out of there!

definitely true! it's not a job offer yet! and I still need to apply...


Yes, I def need the salary to be higher....the market here is pretty saturated with lawyers as it is, so I am a bit hesitant to leave what I have for a 1-2 year gig....

The fact that the legal profession is saturated is all the more reason you need to move on to move up.  With that said, you haven't got an offer yet.  There is just some interest.  Submit your resume, get an interview, and see what they have to say.  IF you get the job, the math already makes sense and could make even more sense if you negotiate a little, so what would likely be holding you back at that point is a fear of change.  Don't be a slave to it -- not even when your current employer offers you more money when he sees you are serious about walking out the door!

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: Dilemma- possible new job offer for burnt out attorney...but...
« Reply #16 on: July 30, 2018, 08:29:19 PM »
Pretty comparable pay, better commute, better benefits, and most importantly, sounds like the new opportunity has lit a professional fire under you. Go for it.

DealingWithDreams

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Re: Dilemma- possible new job offer for burnt out attorney...but...
« Reply #17 on: July 31, 2018, 08:42:21 PM »
yes, I find myself happy when I think about the new position. :)

Finances_With_Purpose

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Re: Dilemma- possible new job offer for burnt out attorney...but...
« Reply #18 on: July 31, 2018, 09:06:01 PM »
PTW.  Best wishes!

DealingWithDreams

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Re: Dilemma- possible new job offer for burnt out attorney...but...
« Reply #19 on: August 18, 2018, 08:10:56 AM »
I just wanted to reply to the posters who were so kind to reply and to message me.

I found out a little more about the new potential position, which is in the 50s (might be a max of 60) and no retirement (just healthcare). I talked it over with my spouse and it's a no-go. So...I've sent out 3 resumes for other positions closer to my salary range now, so we'll see...and I've upped my networking game and have let certain colleagues know (that I trust) that I am looking to explore a different practice area. I spoke with my current employer, who agreed to let me work from home 1x/week (it's a start). I am in an OK place right now. Part of me feels fortunate to have a job in this market right now, so I am going to focus on being grateful for that, while keeping my ear to the ground for other opportunities....


MrUpwardlyMobile

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Re: Dilemma- possible new job offer for burnt out attorney...but...
« Reply #20 on: August 18, 2018, 08:15:29 AM »
yes, 60s is quite low. (Even my current salary is on a lower-medium scale, but definitely liveable and comfortable for me)

60s is just entry level for a small firm.  I guess the question is how long have you been a lawyer?

FIREby35

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Re: Dilemma- possible new job offer for burnt out attorney...but...
« Reply #21 on: August 18, 2018, 08:24:55 AM »
Hey Aveda Princess - you should read ReadySetMillionaire's thread about opening his own firm. I know that is not for everyone, but if you are searching for autonomy, the ability to pick your practice area, set your own fees, choose where you work and develop an ability to earn money without needing some other lawyer, you might consider it. That thread gives a realistic view of the challenge and promise, I think.

Even if you don't want to do the full solo, I think it is ok to dare to dream of something better. I know you've got the debt and that's a big deal. But even if it long-term planning for a move years in the future, keep a big vision for your possibilities. Think creatively. Start looking at other attorneys and evaluating their business. You might come up with some great ideas.

sonya

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Re: Dilemma- possible new job offer for burnt out attorney...but...
« Reply #22 on: August 18, 2018, 08:30:07 AM »
For the meantime this means you'll be doing that horrid drive. Having spent two hours per day in rush hour traffic, what saved me was listening to books. And it's free if you get the Libby app and use your library card to log in and start borrowing audio books. I also have a friend with a similar commute who gave me her login to Audible. Unfortunately, all she listens to are murder and crime, and after 5 or 6 of those it got old. The exception? Gone Girl, which I listened to twice - FABULOUS book, and it made all the difference to hear the narrator use the perfect attitude in her voice when speaking the main character's part. I live 8 minutes away now, so I just listen to the radio, LOL.

Best of luck to you with your job search.

DealingWithDreams

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Re: Dilemma- possible new job offer for burnt out attorney...but...
« Reply #23 on: August 23, 2018, 06:49:33 AM »
yes, 60s is quite low. (Even my current salary is on a lower-medium scale, but definitely liveable and comfortable for me)

60s is just entry level for a small firm.  I guess the question is how long have you been a lawyer?

I've been practicing for 6 years

DealingWithDreams

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Re: Dilemma- possible new job offer for burnt out attorney...but...
« Reply #24 on: August 23, 2018, 06:57:23 AM »
Hey Aveda Princess - you should read ReadySetMillionaire's thread about opening his own firm. I know that is not for everyone, but if you are searching for autonomy, the ability to pick your practice area, set your own fees, choose where you work and develop an ability to earn money without needing some other lawyer, you might consider it. That thread gives a realistic view of the challenge and promise, I think.

Even if you don't want to do the full solo, I think it is ok to dare to dream of something better. I know you've got the debt and that's a big deal. But even if it long-term planning for a move years in the future, keep a big vision for your possibilities. Think creatively. Start looking at other attorneys and evaluating their business. You might come up with some great ideas.

Thank you, I will check out his thread. I've already made up my salary at the firm by mid-year, but not all of my cases are solely mine (about half of my cases are direct referrals to me) so it makes me nervous going out on my own. PLUS, there is overhead, taxes, staff (i would need at least one assistant). I need to make a list of pros and cons.  If something happened to my job, I could make it work somehow but solo practice is not my first choice. I do have a long standing job offer from a friend who is solo, so I wouldn't starve if I was on my own, if I included her contract work.

MrUpwardlyMobile

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Re: Dilemma- possible new job offer for burnt out attorney...but...
« Reply #25 on: August 23, 2018, 07:33:51 PM »
yes, 60s is quite low. (Even my current salary is on a lower-medium scale, but definitely liveable and comfortable for me)

60s is just entry level for a small firm.  I guess the question is how long have you been a lawyer?

I've been practicing for 6 years

If you donít mind my asking, what is your practice area and what are you billing annually?  I work in Smšll law and get a 100k bonus if I bill over 2500 per year.  My salary seems much higher and Iím only 5 years out. Iím asking because maybe there are bigger moves for you to make that would improve your situation more.

DealingWithDreams

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Re: Dilemma- possible new job offer for burnt out attorney...but...
« Reply #26 on: August 25, 2018, 07:35:02 AM »
I don't think I'm necessarily undercompensated relative to working in a small firm in my niche. I'll send you a PM for more specifics...