Author Topic: Mistake in switching legal practice area?  (Read 4123 times)

Aki

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 33
  • Location: USA
Mistake in switching legal practice area?
« on: July 07, 2015, 10:09:34 PM »
I'm a lawyer practicing in an area of law I like but am a bit burned out by the same work and tired of the office politics.  I think I could FIRE now but I'd probably feel more comfortable if I worked another year or two or three (I'm 44, DH is 45).  I've decided to make a switch in practice areas but I'm not sure if it was the right move and I'm all of a sudden terrified to start something completely new and different.  I was pretty much coasting before and feel like I've now voluntarily added all of this stress to my life and last few years of work.  The switch won't happen for a few weeks and it would be tough to change course at this point.  Any thoughts would be appreciated!         

StockBeard

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 637
  • Age: 37
    • How To Retire Early?
Re: Mistake in switching legal practice area?
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2015, 01:41:39 AM »
Change is always tough, but it also prevents your life from becoming a boring routine...
I love my routine, but I also force myself to do dramatic changes once in a while, just to make sure I don't become a boring person. Not sure if that makes sense, but I think you did not necessarily make a bad choice here

Aki

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 33
  • Location: USA
Re: Mistake in switching legal practice area?
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2015, 02:56:36 AM »
Thanks for the comments.  My other concern is wanting to spend more time with my aging parents and in-laws, who have some health issues.  I can do it where I'm at with relative ease and I'm sure the new boss would be very understanding about that but I'd feel some pressure to prove myself, at least early on.  One of my big reasons for FIRE is spending more time with our parents--it's heartwrenching for me to see them age.     

Gray Matter

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3643
  • Location: Midwest
Re: Mistake in switching legal practice area?
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2015, 06:40:40 AM »
I changed careers (corporate to non-profit, financial services to mental health) at age 43.  It's been stressful, yes, but also invigorating.  There are days when I think, "I don't need this," but overall, I'm really glad I did it.  I actually feel really grateful to have had this opportunity, and have learned a lot and grown a lot.  It was hard in the beginning not feeling competent, but by the six-month mark, I was starting to feel comfortable, and I think being outside my comfort zone was good for me.  I don't want to become complacent, or just put one foot in front of the other.

Also, I have drawn clear boundaries in this job and my family comes first, and that has been fine.  It was actually nice to start a new job with very clear priorities and knowing what I was willing to give, and also OK if that turned out not to be enough for them (we could part ways amicably).  I have three kids (two with special needs) and a parent with cancer, but it's all been pretty manageable.

I'm very glad I didn't just let the clock run out in my other job--I feel more alive now.

jackiechiles2

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 124
Re: Mistake in switching legal practice area?
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2015, 07:22:32 AM »
What are you switching to/from?

Aki

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 33
  • Location: USA
Re: Mistake in switching legal practice area?
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2015, 08:03:50 AM »
Thanks, Gray Matter, I've wondered about that and am torn between an invigorating change and status quo.  My move is from criminal to civil--I've done only criminal in my 17 years of practice. 

jackiechiles2

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 124
Re: Mistake in switching legal practice area?
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2015, 08:53:15 AM »
Thanks, Gray Matter, I've wondered about that and am torn between an invigorating change and status quo.  My move is from criminal to civil--I've done only criminal in my 17 years of practice.

What type of civil?  PI?  Plaintiff's side or defense side?  Are you a partner or not?

Aki

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 33
  • Location: USA
Re: Mistake in switching legal practice area?
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2015, 08:59:30 AM »
All government work--I'm not in a firm and have always wanted to be in the public sector.

Sibley

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3651
  • Location: Chicago, IL
Re: Mistake in switching legal practice area?
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2015, 12:20:26 PM »
Can you do part time?

Aki

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 33
  • Location: USA
Re: Mistake in switching legal practice area?
« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2015, 01:35:48 PM »
Part-time would be ideal but my employer doesn't offer it.  I think taking the leap with an optimistic attitude is what I've gotta do and if ends up being really terrible, be grateful for the opportunity and the option to FIRE!         

Sibley

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3651
  • Location: Chicago, IL
Re: Mistake in switching legal practice area?
« Reply #10 on: July 08, 2015, 02:48:20 PM »
Hey, you've got what's called F-U money! If there's an option between letting you go part time and losing you, they might try PT.

Of course, make sure you're willing to be let go (but then you can collect unemployment).

Krnten

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 103
Re: Mistake in switching legal practice area?
« Reply #11 on: July 08, 2015, 02:59:59 PM »
Agreed!  I have FU $ and gave my notice at my law firm...or I would prefer to go part time.  They said yes to PT.  only one other person had done it.  Give it a shot- what do you have to lose?

Aki

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 33
  • Location: USA
Re: Mistake in switching legal practice area?
« Reply #12 on: July 08, 2015, 07:12:16 PM »
A few others have asked about part-time and it's never been available where I work, which is too bad because the gov't could save lots in money and benefits.  Knowing that I have the FU $ though will get me through this a little bit longer to pad the 'stache.  Thanks for the encouragement and comments!