You have a unique combination of talents, experience and knowledge that makes your potential so much greater than your current legal job. And you’re not using them in law.
It's no wonder you feel that way when you're performing too many tedious activities that you're not really engaged. Combined with a face time culture and the billable hour incentivising long hours with little output, no wonder you feel disengaged.
Most may moan and complain yet ultimately they keep doing it despite feeling demoralised, bored and at worst show signs of depression. We’re negatively biased. We evolved to think negatively in order to survive threats; thus we put more weight on the uncertainties and risk than the possibilities and upsides of a given situation.
We prioritise short-term ease over long-term value (and by prioritising short-term happiness over long-term we lose control of our lives). I see too many lawyers that take the biggest risk of all of thinking that the money they are saving now will be able to buy them the lifestyle and the opportunities that they want in the future. It simply does not work like that for most people. Peer pressure the herd Instinct, the hedonic treadmill and the status hold them in so much longer than they should be there. Nor can we really predict what will make us happy in the future with that great a degree of accuracy.
And the more time that runs by the more that lawyers will settle for a job they hate.
Today how bout you find out more about your strengths? I bet that the reasons you’re so dissatisfied in your job is because you never use these at work. The best part of you. The easiest way is to see how far you are from realising your potential, from what could be. You can get clearer by completing the VIA Survey and receiving your free Character Strengths Profile. One of the premier tools of positive psychology, this scientifically validated survey takes less than 15 minutes and is the first step in building the foundation for a better "you". I'd also recommend the Strengthsfinder 2.0 to find your top 5 strengths here.
All career changes start with small steps. Take one.
Martin Underwood is Course Producer at Life Productions, helping lawyers and other professionals find a better career fit and take practical action through advice, courses and networking.
Strengths is one of parts to find out who you are and who you could be before moving on to where you're heading in the More Than Law course. If you want to find out more about how you can identify and prioritise your values in a practical course created by lawyers, for lawyers - click here.