What happens now?

February 12, 2010

The change in jobs is fast approaching:  The new job starts sometime in March.  My next post will be about the big picture economics of the change in paychecks.  We’ve as much as been living on our austerity budget already, although it will no doubt be different when the training wheels come off and there’s no safety net.  (Tip: canceling cable not that bad, but big health insurance co-pays sting.)

But first, an update on the transition….

I’ll be giving my two-week notice at my present, well-paid but unbearable job next week.  In the meantime, I’ve already attended an orientation at my new job.  I’ve checked in, signed a mountain of forms, and started learning how the bureaucracy works.  More importantly, I also met with my new boss and some colleagues-to-be, whose intelligence, sophistication, and professionalism–in short, the tone-setting kernel of the workplace–is plainly equal to that of the best of my private law colleagues.

This is the right move. At home, I’ve woken up to a feeling I haven’t had in at least two years: plain, uncomplicated happy.  During the past two years, firm life progressively slipped from new to uninspiring, and then from distasteful to horrific, as I realized that try as I might, the fit just wasn’t there.  This isn’t to say I was never happy, but when I was, the happiness was always qualified by whatever undertaking awaited me back at work, and the knowledge that evenings, weekends, and vacations were always a BlackBerry buzz away from annihilation.  And for what?  Certainly not anything worth setting aside my wife and toddler.

Now, I know this sounds like I’m excited about better hours at my new job. And that’s not an inconsiderable good. But more important to me is that the work is something I care about. So in addition to having more time for what matters to me, when and if I do have to put an air mattress in my office and work through the night, at least the benefits are not, in the end, just amount to a reduction in the amount of liability faced by a client’s insurer.

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4 Responses to “What happens now?”

  1. martin Says:

    First, great post! It’s always a big step to change one’s work life to better fit one’s personal life, rather than the more common adapting the personal life to an impossible work life.

  2. shebicycles Says:

    I am very, VERY happy for you! The ultimate good in this will overshadow the initial challenges. Inspired by your focus and knowledge of what is important. You get all my gold stars.

  3. JL Johnson Says:

    I feel like I’m in the same place with my employer. While our situations are not entirely comparable I believe I understand how your legacy employer has the ability to, at a whim, suck every bit of enjoyment out of life. For me, it is painful to watch the empire I helped to create (albeit in a very, very small way) be systematically dismantled by aggressive merger overlords. I have an awful lot of respect for you. Your decision to take happiness, time with family, and a sense of fulfillment over money is something that I can only dream of, for now at least.

    Congrats for making a tough decision and best of luck.

  4. dwbh Says:

    Congrats from me too. I know that, even if what’s you’re doing is the right thing to do, it doesn’t make it any easier to do in practice. Personally, following what I’m passionate about has always paid off in the end, although it sometimes takes a long time for “the end” to get here. Here’s hoping it gets here soon for you.


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