The rest of my Professional's Lament, as reconstructed and amended. I was feeling a little hopeless during part of the drafting. I feel a little less so now. So, take that for what its worth.
Once upon a time, back in 2008, I participated in a meme. Nicolle asked me what what my dream job was. legal or otherwise. Funnily enough, my answer hasn't changed much. Four years later, I found a job "where I can be a mommy as many hours a week as possible, but still do fulfilling work," but it doesn't pay the bills and its a temporary gig.
What I want is to
practice my trade, without all the bullshit that comes with it. Yes, I
know that all jobs have bullshit. So, maybe I want to practice my trade
with tolerable levels of bullshit and get paid a salary that at least
compensates me for the bullshit.
I want some flexibility. I
want to be there for my family in the evening. I'd like working late or
on the weekend to be an exception, not a rule. I don't want clients
who expect that I'll see the sun come up while I am finishing documents I
started the night before. Yes, I want to be a lawyer. For about 40
hours a week. I know that the trade off for that schedule is salary and
prestige and power and all that, and I accept that. I welcome that.
But hell, I want to be able to earn enough money to pay my daycare bill and
have some more to take home at the end of the week. Because,
otherwise, what's the point? I love staying at home enough to do it for
a while for my girls. I think. But we've (sort of) run the numbers and we
really (probably) can't do it beyond my planned leave. (And we really couldn't do
this unpaid leave without our 2011 tax refund and some help.)
I'm really reluctant to sit down and do the hard thinking about this. Its my "to do" for July.
I feel at a loss at the
moment. I feel like I've screwed up my life somehow, like I did
everything all in the wrong order, and I don't know how to fix it. (Ok,
that's maybe overstating it.) I don't feel like law school was a mistake. I loved law school and I love being a lawyer. I certainly don't feel like my kids were a mistake, and since timing them any differently would have made them different people, I have no regrets on that score either. Yet I do feel like I've screwed up somehow.
I applied for that firm
job. I haven't heard anything yet (I will keep you posted, but at this point, I doubt I'll even get a f**k you letter).
Apparently, other firms in the area are also hiring. But I haven't been
able to get past my deep ambivalence toward law firm life and apply.
I applied for another job on Sunday. Not a firm job, and not a dream job, but one that has the potential to be a good fit, I think, and with a reasonable commute. I don't expect to hear anything for a few weeks. If I do, you'll know.