One of my favorite magazines is The Atlantic. Recently, Leigh McMullan Abramson wrote an article for The Atlantic about quitting your job as an attorney. The article touches on a number of points that I’ve heard from some of my fellow attorneys, but by no means all of them (or maybe not even a majority of them). Abramson’s article is a good read about the industry that surrounds attorneys to help them out of the profession.
From my own experience (talking with other attorneys) and what Abramson confirms, it seems that some enter law school not knowing what they want to do after undergrad, or not realizing the adversarial nature (and the necessity for good business skills) required to succeed in law, or both. The practice of law is demanding, exacting, and difficult. Is there prestige that goes along with the title “attorney”? Of course there is (or why else would so many television shows feature attorneys and the justice system)?
Is law the only profession with a surrounding industry to help people quit? I doubt it. I’m sure there are engineers, accountants, nurses, and doctors who aren’t happy with their particular job or their particular profession.
To me, I think it’s important to enjoy what you do and to have a sense of purpose in life, recognizing that some days are tougher than others on the job. Every job has its bad moments and days, but I’m convinced that if most of your days are good, and you enjoy working with most of the people who surround you, then you’ve found your professional sweet spot.