Top tips for lawyers who are struggling to enjoy their legal career
Through my coaching practice, I have seen a rise in lawyers saying they feel their career is out of their control and they no longer enjoy what they are doing. They have invested time and money in their career and want to enjoy it, yet are now feeling stressed, de-motivated and alone and are picturing a life away from the law.
If this rings a bell with you, you are not alone.
As lawyers you have to manage a number of work demands each day and face inevitable challenges along the way. These can be dealing with difficult clients, taking responsibility for a heavy case load or achieving chargeable time targets. Whilst managing these demands, you also want to achieve the best results in everything you do. The demands you experience are numerous and mean that you are working under immense pressure every day.
As this pressure increases, lawyers often become overwhelmed by the challenges they face but feel there is nothing they can do about it. Many just keep going for fear of appearing incompetent. Others feel that they can’t complain because they should be happy to have a job.
If this is familiar to you, the good news is that there is something you can do about it. There are choices and you can either keep on doing what you are doing or you can take action and investigate making a change in your career.
If you decide to take action, here are some initial options for you to consider:
- Find a solution to the challenges you face Identify the challenges you face at work and decide what outcome you want instead. Once you have decided on the outcome, identify what obstacles and challenges are in the way of you achieving what you want and have a think about what action you can take to overcome them. It can sometimes be as simple as asking for help more frequently.
- Changing Job Decide whether it is the content of your job or the working environment that is not suiting you. If it is the working environment, start identifying alternative firms and companies you would like to work for.
- Changing Specialism There are many lawyers wanting to change direction within their legal career but prevent themselves from doing so for numerous reasons such as limited opportunities, decrease in pay as well as fear and lack of confidence. If you are de-motivated in your current role and wondering whether you are better suited to an alternative area of law, put together a list of alternative specialisms of interest to you and start talking to lawyers working in those specialisms to discover whether an alternative area of law would suit you.
- Career Change If you are wondering whether a career change is for you, it is really important to assess what you would like your career to include and whether a new career is the answer. Think about what skills and working environments suit you. Identify career and job ideas and start networking in these areas to find out more and enable you to decide whether a career change is right for you.
These considerations are going to take a bit of extra time and thought but this will be the best way to find out what change is required in your career. Remember, if you keep doing what you are doing, you will keep getting the same result. By taking action, you will be able to control your working life and be happier at work.