You know what feels like a crazy idea? Moving into a non-legal career after spending five years as a lawyer and almost $200,000 on law school. But I did just that. It was scary, exciting, and filled with the thing I hate the most–the unknown–but I came out the other side with a job I love and a new career track that felt right for me. 30 might seem young to some, but after seven years in higher education, it felt like a huge step backward in my career. In hindsight, it was more of a side step, but it was the best move I could have made. Below is a rundown of the dirty details of my career change.
A recent promotion at work has me managing a few new employees, and I realize I’m uniquely qualified for this big task because I parent a toddler. These scenarios are interchangeable for me whether I’m in the office or at home.
Like most students, I was pretty wise to the concept of getting a mentor from early on. I read a lot about how to find a mentor. I was good at pursuing the relationships. And yet, I let a few potentially incredible mentors slip through the cracks because I didn’t properly cultivate the relationship. Luckily, I’ve adjusted my approach and been able to find some fantastic mentors despite my initial mistakes. Keep reading for some of my worst mentor-seeking offenses and how I’ve succeeded at finding a few great mentors since.
I spent seven years in higher education, and I really honed my “student” look during that time. Today, my weekend wardrobe looks a lot like that student look I perfected: jeans, a loose t-shirt, Converse or Rainbow sandals, aviator sunglasses, and a delicate necklace. Unfortunately for me, the industries I work in (law and commercial real estate) are extremely conservative. In my office, business casual is considered progressive in the wardrobe department.
I’ve been working on finding ways to be comfortable, both physically and mentally, in my professional clothes. I’ve curated a capsule wardrobe below that meets my three needs: comfortable, timeless, and as casual as acceptable for a professional workplace.
It happens all the time. You and your spouse are chatting over pizza one night and an app idea pops into your head. Or your sister pitches you to invest in some real estate with her. Maybe a friend asks if you want to partner on a cool new business she’s been wanting to start up. Or maybe your parents offer up a position for you in their business when you finish college. Whatever the situation, it is all too common that these businesses get going informally, and this can create major problems if the business grows, or worse, if the business goes south. Going into business with family or friends is always risky, but when done right, it can be quite rewarding. Consider these as your starting point when starting a family business:
Summer is just around the corner, so it’s time to break out the self-tanner and actually shave my legs more than once a week. I typically try to use each season to do a little update to my wardrobe. Although my preference is to spend money on casual clothes, since I have to dress professionally five out of seven days each week, I try to refresh my work wardrobe each season with just a few pieces since it’s mildly unacceptable to continue to wear my circa 2004 Express pants (which I really have and really do still wear). This summer, I’m focusing on a few versatile pieces that are fresh but also classic enough to be worthy of investment.
I’m planning your retirement party next week, even though you’ve mostly just been a pain in my ass for that last year. You regularly made me late to meetings or required me to duck out early. You interrupted my work flow at your convenience, and you made me stress out like crazy if I didn’t get to you on time. Thanks to you, I ate lunch at my desk almost every day because you took up what little free time I had… Read more…