Confessions of a Laid-off Lawyer

Just Your Average Joe Blogging Away His Debt—In One Year or Less

Archive for August 20th, 2009

When I Grow Up

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Total Black: $187.65
Total Red: $228,153.42

Good news: total black went up.  Bad news: total red went up too.  Getting there though.  Just the climb is starting to ache a bit.

One of the organizations I’m involved with, the New York Lawyer Chapter of the American Constitution Society, had it’s annual planning meeting tonight.  Just before the meeting, I got to talking with a woman I met at the same meeting last year.  She is also unemployed.  After the meeting I got to talking with someone I hadn’t met before.  She is employed.  The first woman and I spoke about our frustration with our job searches.  She chronicled all the reasons why she shouldn’t take temporary positions, including no opportunity for skill development.  Catch though she’s not developing anything by doing nothing.  The second woman and I spoke about of frustrations about not working in an area we’re passionate about.  As we spoke, she shared her frustrations with her meaningless law firm work and expressed ambivalence about another job offer that she received.  Funny.  Only just now did I get the irony in her talking with someone who’s out of work about the frustrations in determining whether to take a different job or keep the one she has.  But I suppose it’s not fair to reduce her confusion to a quip.  The position the second woman is debating is overseas, in India where she comes from.  And the advantage, she explained, is that her family is fairly well-known and that would significantly enhance her career.  Doors would open for her.  But law school debt could block her way.  And she struggles with swapping one corporate position for another, and possibly giving up any chance to “make a difference” like you can in America.  She joked that she needed to find a rich husband so she could work for Amnesty International and not worry about how much she’d earn.  It seems a sign of the times that we all could talk at length about our career angst.  A fairly typical conversation too.  The irony that we have careers to gripe about does not escape me. Keep reading . . .