CareerSwitchFilter: I'm a miserable lawyer, with a bunch of hobbies and skills, but no other kind of professional experience. What career(s)/job(s) should I consider switching to?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (23 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Where I am now
I'm a late thirties lawyer working for myself, doing mostly litigation and some transactional work. I do work for others lawyers from time to time, too. I enjoyed law school, but hate practicing law. I desperately want to transfer to a different career path, and not be a lawyer anymore.
- Before putting out my shingle, I clerked for a judge. Before that, I worked for a few small law firms during law school. I don’t have any professional background outside of the law.
- I have a number of creative hobbies, I tend to get pretty deeply involved in them, and I’ve even made some money and gotten some press with a few of my bigger projects.
- I have no technical or programming skills. I can figure out CSS on the fly just enough to modify wordpress themes a tad as needed, and that’s about it.
- I consistently test as an ENTP. I’m a pretty borderline E, but a consistent one.
- I would be thrilled to never wear a suit jacket again.
- I’m very casual and direct in my speech, in a middle-class-background sort of way.
- I’m extremely liberal, and am opposed to working for the government.
What I’m good at
- People consistently comment on my ability to get people excited about and interested in the things that I find exciting, and how quickly and easily they find themselves feeling comfortable opening up to me.
- Making things happen, and getting things done. I tend to be very good at breaking down tasks and organizing projects. I have several examples from my hobby projects on my resume, in addition to the lawyer examples. My natural impatience is mostly an asset here.
- My skills as a lawyer also break down into: research, writing, public speaking, negotiation, communication, collaboration, leading, listening and making people feel truly heard, being aware of collateral consequences of decisions, explaining complex things in simple language to people of varied backgrounds and education levels, negotiation, learning whole new areas and resolving novel problems on a regular basis, being persuasive and charismatic, connecting well with other people, knowing and speaking to my audience, and framing issues, among other things.
- I am a talented amateur with several kinds of art.
What I'm bad at
- Sitting in front of a computer endlessly.
- Routine paperwork.
- Working for myself / freelancing. I hate spending my time hustling, and want a job with a salary and benefits that lets me focus on work I can do well instead.
- Talking on the phone with other people in the room listening in.
- Tolerating being yelled at for things that aren't my fault. (This comes up a lot, as a lawyer.)
- I am extremely reluctant to go back into school and rack up even more student loan debt, unless it’s a program with a high probability of leading to an actual job at the end of it that I would actually enjoy.
- I am willing to invest time and effort and loss of income towards a career switch, but only if it’s a very strong, solid investment, if that makes any sense.
- I’d vastly prefer to think of kinds of jobs I could apply for immediately with my current credentials and experience.
1) What different career(s) should I look into switching to? What would I have to do to get there from here?
2) What kinds of jobs could I apply for immediately with my background and skills, other than being a lawyer?
3) Have you ever had a good experience with a career counselor you can recommend? If so, who?
Throw-away email address: firstname.lastname@example.org