Friday, October 22, 2010

Reinventing yourself

While there are lots and lots of ways I would like to reinvent myself, there is nothing I would like more than to do that in the area of my job. I have sadly watched myself go from someone who was dedicated, diligent and passionate about their work to someone who was a loyal and dutiful employee, putting in how ever many hours and sacrificing parts of my life to get the job done. And know I am just someone who shows up and tries to survive the day with as little scarring and mental fatigue as possible.

Sometimes I wonder if people sort of "get it" when I tell them about my concerns or stresses about my jobs. The reporting to 86 different people. The difficulty of rarely seeing if ever speaking to your bosses. The constant criticism. The loud and often harsh complaints from lawyers. The lack of having actual coworkers. Well, with the exception of Fabulous Assistant B, but I know she will fly the coop soon (and I would be so, so happy for her!) but then I really will be all alone.

I used to be a highly creative person. Well, I guess I would still consider myself one, but I don't get to be that person at work anymore. I haven't ever since I came to the world of law firms. And while I am a Marketing and Communications person by trade and by experience, little of that sort of Mark/Comm comes into play in the world of law firms.

I know that it's very rare for people to love their actual jobs. That one in a million people bound out of bed in the morning and are just raring to get into their office. But I know it's possible to like your work -- to like and respect your coworkers, to work on a team, to take pride in your company. I know all of that is possible. I just wish it were possible for me.

I am scared that while I have only been in firm life for 3 years now, that I may be stuck here forever. And I would be lying if I didn't say that thought simply terrifies me.

For better or worse, I have always been someone who has needed to be engaged with my work. Not in some crazy sense of "my work is my life" or "my work is all I have"....but in some ways, yes I do feel that way to an extent. My work has always been a big part in defining me. Gives me something to improve upon, to devote myself to. Something to be proud of, something to build on. As someone who has never been certain I would take the married with a family route, dedicating myself, working hard, doing good work and building a successful career became increasingly more important to me. Because I am doing the work for me. Not as a means to provide for my family.

But now all I feel is scared. And maybe a little sad and regretful. Maybe I got myself into a field that I won't ever be able to break out of. Has anyone else ever experienced this sort of work panic attack? Experienced this deep seated need to reinvent themselves job-wise? If there is anyone reading this who has been able to do this successfully I would love to hear from you. Hell, even if you haven't but you have felt this very same way, I would love to hear from you! Sometimes it makes you feel just a little bit better to know someone else has had the same experiences. And feeling just a little bit better would be pretty darn great right about now.

Bonus? I just hit spellcheck and it said "No misspellings found." Is it sad that that might be the highlight of my whole week?


  1. I know what you mean! I feel the same way sometimes. Hope you feel better!

  2. I get this, believe me!! For years I was convinced I was going to do a job that made some sort of difference in people's lives and I'm sad that I sort of had to give in and work for the 'man.' I'm hoping it's not a forever type of thing though - and I realize that in no way offers you any help/advice, but at the very least, know that you're not alone!!

  3. Um, pretty much everyday I really don't think this is the career for me. But I don't know what else to do and I'm pretty certain I'll be stuck for life.

  4. Thanks folks...although I hate that other people feel like this too just because I hate so much how I feel like this!

    BlythePoo....what say we start our own fun business. What food has yet to be sold out of a truck here in DC?

  5. I totally know how you feel. I left college after 2 semesters because I really wanted to be a hairstylist and had always loved stuff like that.
    Once I got out in the industry, I hated it, and felt like I was never going to be able to have the resources for college like I did when I lived at home, and was straight out of high school.
    But I did it! I took a 50% paycut after being the manager of the last salon I was at, to have a slow paced job that would allow me to go back to school. It's been hard with the paycut and all, and completely changing my career, but the happiness it totally worth it!

  6. I totally understand how you feel. I have been feeling that way for a at least a year at work but been so thankful for just having a job. I have an accounting degree but have yet to really use it and now wonder if it is to late to do it. I used to love what I was doing but now feel like I just need to make it through the day to pay the bills. I hope one day to feel passionate about my job again but wonder if it will ever happen.