Hating the work you do is an epidemic these days. Many people severely dislike the work they do and only do that work to bring home a paycheck. For the past ten years, I have been one of the lucky people who actually enjoyed my work on a day to day basis. As a corporate litigator, I relished the intellectual challenge of my work, the ability to solve problems and help business people resolve those problems in a cost effective manner, and the ability to leverage technology to solve legal problems. Then, something changed. I am incredibly bored in my work. I feel like I have mastered everything there is to know about the nuts and bolts of litigation, the skills of a good litigator, and the technology related skills that are required to deliver a cost effective solution for my clients. When everything becomes routine, it is time to make a change.
The feminine is the essence of change. It seeks out new challenges and new ways of solving problems. The feminine dislikes the status quo and is constantly seeking to disrupt the status quo. In many ways, working in a corporate law firm is the pinnacle of living within a system designed by masculine energy. Everything is so closely, clearly defined. Every move is measured. Every billable hour is captured in a rational, calculating way. The status quo in my firm has been ongoing now for nearly a century. There is no sign that this status quo will change. Rather, it will only become more entrenched. This status quo now feels like a shackle to me, a prison cell, and a constraint on my ability to be creative and make an impact through my work.
Since 2008, our economy has undergone profound changes. Entire industries and sectors of the economy have been wiped out. New jobs are slowly starting to grow in new industries. Unfortunately, the conventional large law firm is slow to change and adapt even in the fact of tremendous forces showing that change is necessary. If anything, large law firms are in fact entrenching themselves in an old model that continues to break. Rather than embracing this change and viewing it as a challenge, the old business model seeks to raise rates, raise billable hour requirements, and pass on additional costs to clients. Now that I have worked in the legal sector for nearly a decade I have one thing to say: Something’s Gotta Give. The legal profession must change for its clients, for the sake of the profession, and for the sake of the professionals who work within that profession.
Implementing positive, constructive career change on an individual and sector level requires embracing the feminine which is the essence of change. For an individual embarking on a career change, she has to consider what values motivate her in her work, what does she expect to get out of her work, what kind of impact does she want to make on people through her work, and what does she wants to be remembered for through that work. Ideally, she would imagine a job that would help her to live those values and seek out such a position. For a sector undergoing career change, it is important for leadership within that sector to contemplate the values of the organization, how the organization can live up to those values, and how to change its business model to better implement those values for the sake of employees and customers. Rather than embracing a linear oriented thought pattern, implementing change requires harnessing and getting in touch with non-linear feminine energy. Embracing and working with change–rather than running away from it–can be a positive development for both an individual and a sector looking for new challenges.